Saucing


I have returned from Bella Italia! The research trip was incredible and I can't wait to share my stories, recipes, and photos from a month full of pasta and sauce-making with you. Today I find myself on beautiful Martha's Vineyard Island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Making pomodoro passata (preserved tomatoes) was a major focus of my most recent trip. So I wanted to try out what I learned in Southern Italy back here at home. I bought 15 pounds of tomatoes from a local farm on the island and canned them here at my family's home following the lessons I learned from my Pugliese cooking mentors.

Basic Procedure for Pomodoro Passata:

1. Buy the best tomatoes you can find - a lot of them

2. Wait until they are at their ripest stage (before turning rotten)

3. Wash tomatoes carefully

4. Put the clean tomatoes in a big bucket full of cold water

5. Slice each tomato in half

6. Hold one tomato half in each hand and submerge under water

7. Squeeze out the seeds (while your hands are underwater so the juice doesn't spray all over you)

8. Remove squished tomato halves from water, shake dry, and put in pot - repeat

9. Cook the pot of squished tomatoes over low heat until they are just softened and the skins are starting to break

10. Use a food mill to separate the skins and seeds from the pulp*

11. Place tomato puree in sterilized glass jars and seal with fresh lids

12. Process in a boiling water bath (make sure water covers the sealed jars by at least 2 inches) for 30 minutes

13. Save in your cupboard to use all year!

*Note, I used an immersion blender to make my puree today - blending the skins together with the pulp - and skipped the food mill step {# 10 above}. The result was gorgeous!


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