Waste not ...

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast - Toma­toes Tom Hunt

Toma­toes taste best when grown in the sun, picked fresh off the vine and sprin­kled with a touch of salt to bring out the taste of sun­shine. But did you know the vine it­self has an in­tense, toma­toey flavour that can be used as an in­gre­di­ent to in­ten­sify the flavour of a sauce? It’s a neat trick when the toma­toes aren’t quite up to par and are in need of a flavour in­jec­tion.

Over­ripe and soft toma­toes make the best sauce: sweet, rich and full of flavour. In­dulge in Bri­tish toma­toes in late sum­mer, when they are plen­ti­ful and the sun is strong enough to give them flavour. Avoid them in win­ter be­cause heated green­houses use ex­ces­sive en­ergy to farm them. In­stead, go Ital­ian, ei­ther by ab­stain­ing un­til next sea­son or by mak­ing your own pas­sata, which will last long into the win­ter. It takes just a few min­utes to make, and pre­serves any ripe toma­toes you might have or want to buy while they are cheap.

Pas­sata with tomato vines

Bring a large pan of wa­ter to a boil. Add the toma­toes and the vine, if you have it, re­turn to a boil, then boil for two min­utes. With a slot­ted spoon, trans­fer the toma­toes to a colan­der, then pass through a mouli or blend to a rough puree. To re­move the pips and skin, pass the puree through a sieve; oth­er­wise, pour the pas­sata into ster­ilised bot­tles, and add the tomato vine for flavour. If you are go­ing to use it in the next cou­ple of weeks, store in the fridge; oth­er­wise, pre­serve the sauce us­ing the hot-wa­ter bath preser­va­tion method on­line.

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