Friday, April 29, 2011

a signature in passata

i have had a great time this summer and now into early winter experimenting with a few new things in the kitchen.   i decided to take on tomato's with passion this year .... for one simple reason. 

a dislike of tomato's by certain members of my family.  ahem.

lots of options.  oh yeah.
  • spaghetti bolognase
  • baked beans
  • homemade pizza
  • pasta bake
  • lasagna
  • tomato soup

and the list goes on!

the thing that you have to master for any of these is the passata.  it is that quintessential item in any cooks cupboard that reminds you of the freshness of whole foods.  the tomato richness of this sauce lends itself to so many things and provides dishes with a unique flavour.  i have always watched in envy as people make them on tv and wondered .... does it really make a difference to make something from scratch like that.   do birds fly!  oh wow.

so i've spent the summer conjuring up my own "signature passata".  and as i have used the last of my tomato's for the last bottle of passata, and thot it would be nice to share how easy it can be to make your own passata signature.

the start.  put in heaps of what
you like.  our family is crazy
for garlic <g>
so the key is to make it your own is to use flavours you like.  with my last batch of the season i had tomato's of all levels of ripeness and heaps of stuff in the veggie box that if i didn't use they'd go off.  i have even used celery before.  one flavour that is fantastic to include is capsicum (red bell peppers for my north american friends).  it adds a depth and richness that i absolutely love.  whatever you do.  make it flavours you like.  roughly cut them up and dump them in a roasting pan with a generous glug of olive oil and a big pinch of sea salt.
and then roast!  leave the pan in until there are some nice rich brown spots and the smell that fills the house is divine.  you'll know when it is .... you can simply smell it!

everything dumped into the moule
and ready to be mashed!

then the moule.  i asked for one for my birthday.  but they are really invaluable and i love mine.  you can use them for heaps of things. put everything from your pan, drippings and all, into the moule.  and grind away!  out the bottom will come every vestage of yumminess from these veggies all blended together. 

before i got my moule, i would wiz it all up in the food processor and then pass it through a sive .... heaps more time consuming and not quite so smooth a result.  but you'll get the idea!
the last of my passata for 2011

and then .... you have your final result.  a smooth rich tomato sauce that you just can't buy off the shelves.  this little jar of goodness forms the basis of so many yummy recipes!  and the beauty is that you make your own, the way you like it, the way that suites your family! 

a bottled celebration of flavours ... your own signature in passata! 

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