DIY Essentials: Passata di Pomodoro (Tomato Puree)

Andy Anderson !


Okay, this is a recipe for late Summer, and early Autumn, when fresh garden tomatoes are just bursting with scrummy flavor.

Passata di Pomodoro is basically a recipe that every hopeful Italian chef learns to make by heart. As a matter of fact, when I was studying at the Culinary Institute, and we moved into Italian cooking, it was the first thing we learned.

It is essentially a tomato puree made from fresh tomatoes... not canned.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the Kitchen.


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10 Min
10 Min
Stove Top


How to Make DIY Essentials: Passata di Pomodoro (Tomato Puree)


  2. When it comes to the type of equipment needed, most recipes are rather flexible. However, in this case you will need a food mill. If you do not have one, then tuck this recipe away for a bit. The main purpose of a food mill is to remove the pulp from a veggie, and leave the seeds and the skin behind. You could use a mesh strainer, but it will not deliver the same results as a food mill.

    When I was just a child, my Aunt Josephine would have me turning the handle on that food mill until I thought my arm was going to fall off… but, oh the wonderful tomato dishes she produced from that wonderful purée.
  3. Chef’s Note: Why not buy tomato purée from the store? Well, there are several reasons to make it at home:
    1. It is insanely easy… You need fresh tomatoes, and you need a bit of salt.
    2. Canned or jarred purée is super-heated to make it safe, and it has a few “unnamed” chemicals in it to keep it preserved.
    3. If you are using fresh garden tomatoes, it just tastes better.
    I have more reasons; however, these will do for now.
  4. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  5. Cut the tomatoes in half… pole-to-pole.
  6. Place them in a saucepan, along with the salt, over medium-low heat.
  7. Cover and allow to lightly simmer for about 10 – 12 minutes.
  8. The tomatoes should begin to soften, and release their moisture.
  9. Add the tomatoes to the food mill, sitting over a bowl, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  10. Check the bowl for any accumulated liquid, and discard it.
  11. Place the food mill back over the bowl, and crank until all the pulp is in the bowl, and the seeds and skin are still in the food mill… That is essentially it.
  12. Place the contents of the bowl into a non-reactive, sealed container, and place in the fridge until ready to use, or you could freeze it, and save for those cold Winter days when fresh tomatoes are just a loving memory.
    This will last 10 - 12 days in the fridge, and up to 6-months, if properly frozen.
  14. Use in any recipe that calls for tomato puree. Enjoy.
  15. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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