How to make Italian pasta sauce!

Did that need an exclamation mark?  Probably not...

This is something I have been meaning to share with you for weeks now, but keep forgetting about posting it.  My family makes pasta sauce every year / second year (depending on supply).  Whenever I tell you about using a pure tomato purée in a sauce, I'm talking about this stuff.  What's in there?  Tomatoes.  Lots of them.  And that's it.  No preservatives, no salt, no flavour, niente!

Without the equipment I'm not really sure how one would make this at home.  Maybe a juicer might work?  That would separate the skins from the juice.

Well anyway, I'm going to tell you how we do it...  (PS there is an obscene amount of red in this post...)

We start with ripe tomatoes that have sat out for a few days.  There was around 100kgs here.  We then put them in a MASSIVE pot of boiling water so the skins can come loose. 

They then get transferred to a basket lined in an old sheet.  This lets all the excess water run through (stops the sauce from being watery).  Then using highly-advanced utensils, we mash the tomatoes up.  This gets rid of even more water.

What's left gets put through machine that separates the skin from the juice.  The juice goes in to a big bucket, and skins into another.  The skins go through 4 or 5 times.  This part makes the sauce thicker.  We then head to bottling.

The sauce gets poured into clean bottles, sealed, then put into a drum that's sitting over the flames, filled with water, and boiled to vacuum seal it.

And there we have it.  A sauce supply to last a year!  As much as we dread doing this every year, we actually love it.  The smell though - gas and tomato - gross.


  1. I can't describe the wow level i have right now. WOW!

  2. this is so great! i live in italy and most people make their own sauce this way. i love it. :) great photos!

  3. Wow, soooo many tomatoes. I would love to try that sauce, though I can't imagine trying it myself! What lovely photos.

  4. Wow, that is a super ambitious project! I don't know if I could tackle all my tomatoes for a year at once--canning smaller batches every once in a while is more my speed. Using bottles instead of cans is super interesting, though! Good to keep in mind for future experiments...

  5. Cute blog!!!!

  6. again, STUNNING PHOTOS. i love how physical the process is, and the sight of all those ripe plum tomatoes bubbling in the pot just makes me crave for summer already.

  7. Thanks for the comments! It's a full on process but it's so rewarding - I mean, homemade passata.. can't live without it!


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