Passata al Pomodoro

Passata di pomodoro is made from ripe plum tomatoes which have been puréed and “passed” through a sieve to remove the skin and seeds. It is then stored in jars and boiled for 20 minutes to create a vacuum seal and allow the passata to last for a year. Passata should not be confused with tomato puree which has a thicker consistency and is made by cooking and straining the tomatoes. Passata is less thick and can be used as a sauce for pasta, whereas tomato puree is used for adding a touch of color and flavor to many dishes.


  • 5 pounds plum tomatoes
  • Salt


  1. Microwave the tomatoes in batches just until the skins begin to blister; cool, core and peel away skin; place in tomato press and extract the juice. Or use a food mill.
  2. Place a cheesecloth lined strainer over a bowl; pour in the tomato liquid; gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and twist to remove excess water. Transfer the passato remaining in the cheesecloth to a bowl. For future use, fill new sterilized jars with the passato; cap and place in a large pot; fill pot with cold water to completely submerge the jars. Bring to boil and boil gently for 20 minutes. Turn off heat; allow jars to cool completely in the pot before removing and storing. Or fill quart size plastic bags with the passata and freeze; this eliminates the need to process in a water bath.
  3. Use the passato to make tomato sauce by adding celery, onions and garlic along with basil to the passato.

This recipe was featured on Season 27 - Episode 2719.

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Anthony Pace

If you are using a food mill you do not need to peel the tomatoes. The mill separates the skins for you along with the seeds. You can dry the skins and grind them to make tomato powder to add like a spice to any dish you want. It gives you rich tomato flavor.


The red food mill – what brand? Can you provide a link?


Caution!!! I am an experienced canner. You cannot safely can this as the recipe is stated with just tomatoes, you need a PRESSURE CANNER for that, otherwise, it could cause serious illness. Most tomato sauces when canned using the boiling water method needs addition of acid (lemon juice or something similar) to prevent botulism. Although tomatoes contain acid, different tomatoes vary in the amount, so you should never can tomatoes without the proper amount of ADDITIONAL acid for safety. You may freeze it safely, but do not can this for storage on a pantry shelf!

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