Passato di Pomodoro
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Sharon Sanders
Adding some vodka to the passato brings out the sweetness of the fruit. The alcohol, which evaporates during cooking, dissolves certain flavor compounds that neither oil nor water can release. If using vodka, add ½ cup to the puree (step 4) as it reduces.
  • 10 pounds very ripe plum tomatoes, cut in into lengthwise quarters
  1. Pack a large non-aluminum pot with as many tomatoes as will fit, pressing with clean hands or a large spoon to squash the tomatoes to release some juice. Set on medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tomatoes start to release more juice.
  2. With the back of a large spoon, press the tomatoes. Gradually add the remaining tomatoes until they all fit in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft.
  3. Set a food mill over a large non-aluminum pot. Working in batches, ladle the tomatoes and juice into the food mill. Pass the tomatoes through the mill to puree. With a silicone spatula, lift out and discard the skin and seeds after each batch.
  4. Set the puree over high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium and cook at a brisk simmer for 5 minutes. If the puree is too thin, continue to cook until it is reduced to the desired thickness. Skim and discard any light-colored foam that rises to the surface. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for several hours to chill thoroughly.
  5. To freeze, ladle into 1 cup containers. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. To use the sauce, thaw the amount needed overnight in the refrigerator or microwave on the defrost setting for 10 minutes. Heat the sauce in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes or transfer to a saucepan set over medium heat.
Recipe by Simple Italy at