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Friday, December 10, 2010

Pottering around...

DH has a rare day off today in this contract he's doing for just over 2 months. He was up early and off to golf but I lingered longer in bed enjoying the 'luxury' of no commitments.

One job I didn't get around to yesterday was turning 2 bowls of cherry tomatoes from our tomato bushes into my version of tomato puree. That's bubbling away gently on the hotplate now. This is my recipe...

Tomato Puree/Passata
  • Any ripe tomatoes. ( I sometimes use the top and tails part of tomatoes that I've cut up in bulk such as 5kgs of tomatoes sliced for the church fete barbeque; a lot of left overs and too good to throw in the compost)
  • good dollop of olive oil
  • 1 level teaspoon of sugar
  • sprinkle of salt
  • garlic cloves to taste or crushed garlic in a jar
  1. Wash the tomatoes then roughly chop.
  2. Place in a heavy based pan with the oil, salt and sugar. No need to add water as the moisture from washing them plus the juice inside the tomatoes is enough.
  3. Put the lid on the pan and bring gently to the boil. Lower to a simmer still leaving the lid on. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to bottom of pan.  
  4. After half and hour or so, continue to simmer gently with the lid off to start reducing the liquid  (and concentrate the flavour) and keep checking for 'sticking to the bottom' When the mixture becomes thick turn heat off. All up I cook mine very slowly after the initial bring to the boil, for anything up to an hour/hour and a half
  5. I then put the tomatoes into a wire strainer and push through/sieve the mixture. I use the back of a spoon to help push it through and also I sometimes use the bottom of a drinking glass as this seems to exert more pressure and pushes it thru more quickly. This leaves you with just puree and no seeds or skin but some people don't mind the skin/ seeds so this step could be left out.
  6. You can freeze this or put some chopped fresh herbs through the it and use as a pasta sauce. I sometimes make some simple 'oven meatballs' and toss the cooked meatballs in this sauce and simmer both for a short time to get the flavour though the meat balls. With chopped herbs added, this sauce makes a nice topping for grilled chicken or you can even spread it on a pizza base..