Quick Tomato Passata

It’s time to think of putting by some tomatoes for the fall. If ripe tomatoes inspire you to can, canning supplies are available at Eastman’s Hardware Store, just down the road from Peg Noonan Park. You can also purchase jars of already preserved tomatoes and sauce from Da Silva Farms, made from home-grown tomatoes. Salsa may also appear this week.  And if you find yourself with a few too many tomatoes threatening to go soft, try this. More of a method, than a recipe, so no quantities specified.

Quick Tomato Passata

Ripe meaty field or plum tomatoes, washed and dried

Prop a box grater inside a shallow bowl. Halve tomatoes (across if they’re round, lengthwise for plum tomatoes.) Flick out seeds.

Press tomato halves against the large holes of the grater. Grate flesh into bowl with a rubbing motion until pretty much all you’re left with is skin (careful not to grate your own skin, though.). Squeeze out the skins before discarding. Add salt to taste and refrigerate. Use this fresh purée for sauces, soups, stews, pasta dishes–or as a bruschetta-like topping seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and some tomato-friendly herbs if you like.

If you’re not going to use the purée within a couple of days or so, freeze it, either as is or  cooked down a bit to drive off some of the liquid. Seal in small freezer bags, squeezing out as much air as possible. Keep frozen, and defrost when you need a little tomato purée for sauce, soup, stew and so forth.

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