• Sonia Ghiggioli

Passata Making - The Ghiggioli Family Recipe

Yesterday my family and I spent some time making jars of Passata and Rustic BBQ Sauce with the 10kg of tomatoes we hand picked the day earlier. As I use the passata as a base in dishes I cook from all around the world, I wanted to keep the recipe very simple and I chose the only other ingredients to be homegrown organic rosemary, garlic and onions and did not strain out the skins or seeds, and the result is a more textured sauce.

Now the BBQ sauce is a different story, spicy, sweet and thick! I used the passata recipe and added honey from our bees, grainy mustard, apple cider vinegar I had made and some smokey paprika blend from Paola's Kitchen. I feel lucky the winemaker extraordinaire left some with me the last time she visited, thank you Paola!

My recipe is based on 2kg of whole ripe tomatoes and can be scaled up or down. I don't use any type of blender or sieve and have the children help with the rough dicing of the tomatoes. They seem to love the smell, feel and taste of fresh tomatoes! The results are fantastic and we will be able to use the passata in meals throughout the year. Enjoy our family's recipe.


Preparation Time - 30min

Cooking Time - 1.5hrs


2kg ripe tomatoes, roughly diced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium sized onion, diced

1 bulb of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary

I have added ground Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste and the amounts are up to you.


1. Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan over a low heat.

2. Fry garlic and onion until tender.

3. Add tomatoes and rosemary, salt and pepper and simmer on low until the sauce reduces and thickens, stirring occasionally. (We kept adding the tomatoes as we diced them, so it took a little longer than anticipated. In total it was 1.5hrs).

4. During the last half an hour of cooking, sterilise the jars/bottles/lids. We did by boiling them all in water for 10 min then carefully removing them and letting them drain.

5. When the bottles are ready, pour the sauce into a jug (or funnel in the top of the bottles) and pour the sauce into the jars or bottles. Cap immediately and then turn the jars or bottles upside down to create a vacuum to seal them. Let cool before putting them the right way up.

2kg of tomatoes makes a little under 2L of sauce.

I use these wide mouthed traditional green 2 Pint (950ml) Ball Mason jars with new lids to ensure the tomato sauce will maintain it's freshness and continue to develop in flavour, this is especially true for the Rustic BBQ Sauce.

The Rustic BBQ Sauce is the same base recipe with a cup of ACV, 2 Tablespoons of honey, 2 Tablespoons of quality grainy mustard and 2 teaspoons of smoky paprika added with the tomatoes.

I store the sauces in a cool, dark place for up to 2 years, although they are mostly eaten within 6 months. I make sure I put aside small jars of each sauce to go straight into the fridge so that we can use them as you would a commercial processed tomato/BBQ sauce.

Passata making is quick and easy, a great family tradition and the results speak for themselves. It is a good way of preserving a glut of seasonal tomatoes and having access to the rich flavour of tomato during winter to warm your family up. Fortunately in the subtropic/tropic zone we are in, we have tomatoes most months of the year.

Our Favourite Passata Uses:

* Pizza Sauce

* Pasta Sauce

* Butter Chicken

* Vegetable Curry

* Osso Bucco

* Moroccan Lamb Shanks

* Lasagne

* Traditional Meat Pies

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