Passata Made with Roma Tomatoes

Jars of bright red Roma Tomato Passata Sauce on a kitchen counter.

Make the most out of ripe Roma tomatoes by preserving them in this simple passata. Simply delicious on its with pasta or used in your favourite recipe.

Our kitchen is always so busy this time of year! I can never resist buying a box of ripe Romas or a sack of sweet corn at the farmer’s market. We enjoy our Pickled Carrots with Garlic and Dill, along with local Frozen Corn all winter long.

Cream of the Crop

Once the unmistakable scent of Autumn is in the air, the giant crates of ripe red Romas begin to appear at markets everywhere. They are perfectly plump, oval and a beautiful crimson colour.

Their fresh herbal sweet scent is unmistakably one of my favourite smells in the whole word. It is so unlike any other scent you will ever smell. I find their presence very difficult to dismiss and every year the same thing happens…

I buy an entire box! Then I lug it home and when I’m dragging it out of the trunk I think the same thing every year; What the heck was I thinking?

My First Passata

They say you never forget your first time. Those first two days of Passata making were interesting. I didn’t know what I was doing and honestly, I was just winging it.

I thought the best way to begin was to peel the tomatoes. Peeling tomatoes takes hours of plunging them in and out of boiling hot water. It’s messy and really not much fun.

I learned the hard way that all you really need to do is de-seed and dice the tomatoes. Like this:

Make the most out of ripe Roma tomatoes by preserving them in this simple passata. It's delicous on it's own with pasta or used in your favourite recipe. #Passata #preserving #canning #tomatosauce #hotwaterbath

How to De-Seed a Roma Tomato

There’s a trick I learned in Thailand. Yes, Thailand! Place the tomato upside down on a board. Begin by using a sharp knife to make a shallow cut from the bottom point to the base.

Be careful not to cut all the way through. Repeat the cuts 4 or 5 times and pry the slices away from the centre filled with seeds. You should have a strangely looking flower-like tomato.

Finish by cutting every slice off at the base. Discard the core of seeds and dice up the larger slices.

Make the most out of ripe Roma tomatoes by preserving them in this simple passata. It's delicous on it's own with pasta or used in your favourite recipe. #Passata #preserving #canning #tomatosauce #hotwaterbath

Preparing the Passata Sauce

Place all of the diced tomatoes in a heavy bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven. You may need to split them up into two pots. Add two passes of olive oil, the sea salt, and lemon juice to to tomatoes (split the amount up if using two pots).

Bring the tomatoes to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Let them lightly simmer for 6 hours or until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.

Allow the sauce to cool, then pass it through a food mill to remove the skins. Process immediately or the following day.

How to Can Roma Tomato Passata

If you’re in a pinch for time, this sauce freezes really well. Divide it into portion sizes that you would use in any recipe. I suggest containers that either hold 2 cups or 1 cup, the equivalent of an 8 oz can of tomato sauce.

However, if you prefer to hot water bath the Passata, begin the process by washing and inspecting the jars. Be sure there are no chips on the jar rims and that there’s no rust or dents on the lids.

Next, sterilize the jars by placing them upside down in a large cake pan, then add an inch or two of water. Place in a 250 F oven for ten minutes and keep warm until you are ready to fill them. Prepare the lids by placing lids and rings in a pot and cover with water. Heat them until they just begin to boil.

Before filling the jars, be sure everything is hot and sterilized. Bring the passata back up to a boil and boil a kettle full of water. Remove hot jars from oven two at a time and fill with Passata using funnel. If you have fresh basil, drop a leaf into the bottom of each jar before filling.

Quickly wipe rim of jar then cover with hot lid and screw on the sealing ring until it’s just tight, but not crazy tight. Arrange filled jars in the canning rack and repeat until all your jars are finished.

How to Hot Water Bath Passata Tomato Sauce

Lower the canning rack into the canner. Make sure there’s an inch of water above the jars. If the hot water canner is too full of boiling water, remove some. If the water level is too low, top it up from the kettle.

Process at a rolling boil for 10 minutes at sea level or 20 minutes at over 3000 ft altitude (see chart below). Add boiling water as needed to make sure the jars are covered.

Remove jars from the boiling water and let them sit undisturbed on counter overnight before moving. Check to make sure all the jars have sealed (the lids should be depressed in their centres). Refrigerate any jars that have not sealed.

A handy time chart for water bath canning at higher altitudes

Make the most out of ripe Roma tomatoes by preserving them in this simple passata. It's delicous on it's own with pasta or used in your favourite recipe. #Passata #preserving #canning #tomatosauce #hotwaterbath

If you make this Roma Tomato Passata please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 8 half pint jars

Passata Made with Roma Tomatoes

Jars of bright red Roma Tomato Passata Sauce on a kitchen counter.

Make the most out of ripe Roma tomatoes by preserving them in this simple passata. It's delicious on its own with pasta or used in your favourite recipe.

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 8 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 case Roma Tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (approximately)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • handful fresh basil leaves (optional)

Instructions

PREPARING THE TOMATOES

    1. Wash the tomatoes.
    2. De-seed the tomatoes: Place the tomato upside down on a board. Begin by using a sharp knife to make a shallow cut from the bottom point to the base. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Repeat the cuts 4 or 5 times and pry the slices away from the centre filled with seeds. You should have a strangely looking flower-like tomato. Finish by cutting every slice off at the base. Discard the core of seeds.
    3. Place all diced tomatoes into a large pot (you may need to split it up into two pots).
    1. Add two passes of olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice (divide in half if using two pots).
    2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let lightly simmer for 6 hours or until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.
    3. Allow the sauce to cool and pass it through the food mill to remove tomato skins. I usually process the sauce into jars the next day.

    PRESERVING THE SAUCE (FREEZING AND CANNING INSTRUCTIONS)

    1. To freeze: simply divide your sauce into containers and freeze.
    2. To Hot Water Bath: Wash and inspect 10 half pint jars (I always do an extra jar just in case) and their lids. Be sure there are no chips on the jar rims and that there's no rust or dents on the lids.
    3. Place jars upside down in a large cake pan, add an inch or two of water. Place in a 250 F oven for ten minutes and keep warm until you are ready to fill them.
    4. Place lids and lid rings into a pot and fill with water. Set on stove and heat until they just begin to boil.
    5. Bring Passata back up to a slight boil.
    6. Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.
    7. Remove hot jars from oven two at a time and fill with Passata using funnel. If you have fresh basil, drop a leaf into the bottom of each jar before filling.
    8. Quickly wipe rim of jar then cover with hot lid and screw on the sealing ring until it's just tight, but not crazy tight.
    9. Place jar in canning rack and repeat until all your jars are finished. If your hot water canner looks too full of boiling water, remove some. If you need more, take it from the kettle.
    10. Lower the canning rack into the canner. Make sure there's an inch of water above the jars (add more from the kettle if necessary).
    11. Process at a rolling boil for 10 minutes at sea level or 20 minutes at over 3000 ft altitude, adding boiling water as needed to make sure the jars are covered.
    12. Remove and let sit on counter overnight before moving.
    13. Check to make sure all jars have sealed (the lids should be depressed in their centres) and refrigerate any that have not sealed.


Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 48Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1588mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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38 comments

  1. courtneynoonan

    What an interesting trick for seeding tomatoes! Brilliant.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Who know I would pick up life skills while on vacation? We also learned how to make carrot roses and other fun garnishes. I wonder if my kids remember how?

      Reply

  2. The Home Cook's Kitchen

    love homemade passata! this looks great such a useful way to use vegetables!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I agree! You also know that the sauce is as healthy as it can get because you control the ingredients.

      Reply

  3. Colleen

    Such an informative post, Bernice! I am harvesting my romas right now ahead of the first frost, and this is a great way to use them. Love the seeding tutorial, too!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That’s great to hear Colleen! What are your Roma growing tips?

      Reply

  4. Jessica

    The tip on seeding a Roma tomato is brilliant!! Thank you for sharing – great way to use my Roma tomatoes too!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Happy seeding!Thanks for stopping by Jessica.

      Reply

  5. Denise Pare-Watson

    I agree with you, Bernice. Roma tomatoes are so awesome for sauces like Passata. I love that they are denser and less juicy than other tomato varieties. No doubt that you will enjoy your beautiful tomato bounty during a snowstorm next February, right? 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Bernice!

    Reply

  6. Lenny

    What a great way to de-goo a tomato!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      right?! Kind of a strange thing to learn on vacation…

      Reply

  7. Sabrina

    Wow, great tip on seeding the tomatoes! And a great way to preserve summers bounty, thanks!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      The first year I did it, I ran out to the thrift shop and bought a baby food ricer…that’s all they had! LOL it took forever! The next year I found a proper sized one!

      Reply

  8. G

    How many Roma tomatoes did you use for one recipe? Also, what is a pass of olive oil? Sorry not familiar with the term.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Both very good questions. I haven’t added exact quantities because it’s more about the process. As long as you have great tomatoes you can do this recipe with 10 lbs or 25 lbs. Of course your finished quantity will be different. For this recipe I used 25 lbs of roma tomatoes. A pass of oil is when you pour the oil in a steady medium stream in a circular motion over the pot of tomatoes. I hope that helps. for 25 lbs, I would suggest 1/3- 1/2 cup olive oil. The oil really isn’t needed but it helps the sauce meld together. I hope you do try it. Making your own passata is so worth it.

      Reply

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  13. Gloria

    This is the best time of year for getting tomatoes at the market. Roma’s are great for recipes like this. Perfect for cooking delicious recipes all winter long.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      They are just gorgeous right now. I even have some in my garden right now. It was so hot this year, perfect for tomatoes.

      Reply

  14. Natalia

    This passata looks delicious!! I had no idea what passata was before I saw your recipe, and now I can’t wait to buy Roma tomatoes and make this sauce!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Just strained tomatoes, I guess. Easy and simple.

      Reply

  15. Marta

    The trick to seeding the tomatoes was genius. I can’t wait to try your passata.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I always find it funny that we learned that trick in Thailand!

      Reply

  16. Elaine

    Oh wow. I just love preserving tomatoes, so this recipe is exactly what I like. I mean, this passata must turn out really flavorful and oh-so-delicious that it’s time for me to get to cooking! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Love it! Already did my batch for this year and I might do another.

      Reply

  17. silvia

    What a great hack to deseed the tomatoes, I’ll try it out. I always have lots of Roma tomatoes at home now I know what to do with them, passata!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      If the Romas are perfectly ripe, the trick works like a charm! Good luck!

      Reply

  18. Farrukh Aziz

    This passata recipe was perfect for pasta in our weeknight dinner! The kids loved the delicious sauce, and the seeding trick was so helpful!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Glad you all enjoyed it Farrukh. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

  19. Marisa

    Everyone needs jars of passata in their pantry. You give such great advice and can’t wait to make my own passata. I love that trick you learned. Can’t wait to show it off to Hubby.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I agree! Passata is useful in so many recipes so it’s great to have around.

      Reply

  20. Hayley Dhanecha

    Although I love using passata in my cooking a lot, never tried making at home. Thank you for this detailed post with all the great tipe on how to make passata at home.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s so simple, yet so satisfying.

      Reply

  21. Natalie

    I have a box of Roma tomatoes from my garden. I was looking for ways to preserve them. This sauce sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing your recipe and all the recipe tips.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Perfect! I made another small batch yesterday too. It’s just so worth it.

      Reply

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