Lazy-person's Passata

It's that time of year again. We are harvesting masses of tomatoes from the garden and cannot keep up, so it is time to make some passata to have in the store cupboard for pasta, pizzas, stews and soups all year long.


Now I will admit I am a lazy cook. I am too impatient to spend time skinning tomatoes! Cutting crosses into the skin of each tomato, putting them in boiling water, waiting, then laboriously peeling the skin off all the tomatoes- not for me. There is also so much flavour in the skins, that is being thrown out using this process. We also have a mass of basil at the moment and as per the skins of the tomatoes, the best flavour in the basil plant is in the stalks- the part most people throw out. So this passata keeps the tomato skins on and uses the stalks rather than the basil leaves. All you need to make this possible is a good stick blender and just a little time- not hours.

Ready to cook
Cooked tomatoes
Jarred Passata with oil
Jarred Passata


  • 2kg tomatoes
  • handful basil stalks
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 teaspoons Aleppo Chilli Flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and place them in a roasting tray. You may need to spread them over two trays. Place the basil stalks on the tomatoes, spaced out. Sprinkle on the salt and the Aleppo Chilli flakes. Drizzle over the vinegar. Pour on the olive oil and give everything a gentle toss. Put into a 180℃. oven and roast for approximately 30 minutes , until the tomatoes have collapsed and are starting to brown on the edges. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Using a stick blender, blend everything together well. You may need to remove some of the woodier basil sticks first. If you blend for a couple of minutes all of the tomato skins should also blend up, adding great flavour. Put into sterilized jars, clean around the mouth of the jars. Drizzle a little olive oil over the back of a spoon gently on to the top of the passata. The spoon stops big globs breaking into the surface of the passata. Screw the lids on tightly and pop the jars into a pot of water that comes about a third of the way up the jar. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let them cool. Store in a dark cupboard and refrigerate when opened.