In the normal course of events of a daily schedule, we usually try to watch the Rachael Ray Show, just another in our long list of cooking shows we watch. Inquiring minds need to know. So today, she was making a tomato sauce and she used passata. We had no idea what this was, except it looked like tomato. It is. Uncooked, processed and strained to remove seeds and skins. Simply stated – passata is not cooked and it is made from fresh, de-stemmed and cored tomatoes. I did find this link on the web, What is Tomato Passata? on The Kitchn website.
It seems as if passata is an uncooked tomato puree that has been strained of seeds and skins. It originated in Italy but is used throughout Europe. Some passatas are chunkier and some are smoother, depending on the brand. Some people claim that passata can also be cooked, but most agree that it is uncooked. You will also see it spelled passato and passata di pomodoro … How is passata different from tomato sauce or tomato paste? Well, both the sauce and paste are cooked tomato products to begin with. Tomato sauce often has other ingredients such as carrots, onions, garlic, etc. And tomato paste is cooked down and much thicker. You would not want to substitute either product if passata is called for in your recipe. If you cannot find it in your store, take plain canned tomatoes and run them through a sieve or a food mill. While most passatas are just plain tomatoes, some are sold with additions, such as basil, so read your label carefully if this is an issue … In general, passata is considered to be a superior product to canned tomatoes, using higher quality tomatoes and processing methods. I’m really looking forward to giving it a try!
According to some sources, passata is rarely used in the USA and can be hard to find. However, Robin and I have found it – sold as Pomi – at Albertsons Grocery Stores and at Whole Foods. You can also try World Market Cost Plus. Whenever we come across a tomato recipe that calls for tomato sauce, a passata is what we use. And we use the brand Pomi. We like the richness and thickness of this product. Plus, it tends to be low in the sodium content. But then too, you can make your own if you so desire. Cheers and enjoy!