Head down to your local vegetable market and hunt yourself a crate of very ripe tomatoes that are being sold on the cheap. Then spend a delicious afternoon making Italian passata with a friend, lover or family member, over a bottle of wine.
- Ripe tomatoes – 2kg/4.5 lbs
- Shallots – 200g/ ½ lb
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano – sprigs
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 ½ tsp
- Olive oil – 75ml / 2 ½ fl oz
- Empty jars – 2 x 500ml/17 fl oz
Preheat the oven to 180oC/GM4/360oC. Cut up the tomatoes, shallots and garlic, and put them in a roasting pan large enough to take a single layer. Add the herbs, salt and sugar and the olive oil. Roast for an hour until they are nice and soft, then pass them though a passata machine or a nylon sieve into a saucepan. Sterilise two 500ml/17 fl oz jars in the oven for 10 mins, and whilst this is happening bring the passata to the boil and reduce down if need be. Fill the jars to the top, close them and then put them in a pan of simmering water, with a tea towel at the bottom, for half an hour. Use within a year and once open use up in a couple of days (shouldn’t be tricky).