As I only grow enough tomatoes each year to eat fresh, I headed down to Bacchus Marsh to my favourite fruit and veg shop (Jeff Jones) and pick up a 10kg box of saucing tomatoes for a very cheap price. Then I make about 3-6 months supply of Passata, which is a basic tomato puree. Here is how I do it.
Firstly I core each tomato, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.
A 10kg box will fill about two 8 litre pots.
Then I simmered until pulpy for about 45 minutes. Give it a stir a few times during the simmer to stop it from burning to the bottom.
Once pulpy, I passed it all through the food mill to extract the pulp and leave the skins behind. Don’t forget to pass all the skins through for a second round to get the last drop of juice.
Here is the finished result. A nice and thick puree ready to bottle. I sterilised the bottles in my normal oven manner at 120C for 15 minutes, and boiled the lids separately.
To each bottle I added 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid to bring up the acid levels, then I filled the bottles using a funnel, and sealed tightly. Brought the water bath up to 92C and then kept it at that temperature for 45 minutes.
Once they were removed and cooled, I heard the audible pop of the lids. Every one sealed okay. Out of that 10 kg of tomatoes, I ended up with nine 720ml bottles (23 fl oz) of Passata.
We will probably go through this in no time, however with shop bought Passata at about $3 each, I have myself a saving of $15 (the box cost $12). It only took a couple of hours work all up and I had a relaxing time making it.
I have in the past added salt, but I now prefer to season the meal and not the ingredients that I make to put in it. Who else has made Passata, and are there any variations on the mixture? Leave a link if you have blogged about it!