Time to pass the passata
Astaple in any selfrespecting Italian’s kitchen, passata is bottled magic made of strained, cooked and pureed tomatoes, ready to be reinvented into something delicious.
Traditionally made with ripe tomatoes at the end of the season, passata should simply contain real tomatoes with no added salts, flavours, herbs or preservatives.
The thick, rich, bottled substance is not to be confused with tomato sauce, which is smoother and contains additional herbs and salts.
It’s also important to note that passata and pasta sauce are not the same thing.
Rather, pasta sauce is actually passata mixed with herbs, spices and other ingredients.
The closest substitute for passata is tomato puree, which is essentially an unstrained passata. It still provides a similar thickness and taste, but often has added salts and herbs.
Tomato paste is another potential substitute, but is more highly concentrated, giving it a smoother consistency and richer flavour.
Most commonly used in pasta sauces, a good passata will ensure a thick, rich and flavoursome base to carry any flavours.
It’s also a winning ingredient in thick soups and chunky meat dishes. Add some to your next meal and you’ll be one step closer to mastering Italian, or any, cuisine.