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All About DeLallo Tomato Passata

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What is Passata?

Passata is simply puréed, strained uncooked tomatoes… that’s it. There are no fillers and no distractions. Just 100% tomatoes. Tomatoes are crushed, then puréed and finally strained to remove any tomato pieces, skins and seeds. Passata is also labeled “tomato purée” or “strained tomatoes.”

In Italy, passata is a tradition born out of the desire to enjoy tomatoes all year long, not just during the tomato harvest season. And can you blame them? Tomatoes are the foundation of so many great recipes: pasta sauces, pizza sauces, soups, stews… you get the idea. When pasta became popular in Italy, so did the act of canning tomatoes.

How It’s Made

Our Passata is made with 100% Italian-grown tomatoes. The passata is made during prime-time tomato season, when tomatoes are at their best quality and flavor. Once they’re ready (from mid-July to mid-October), tomatoes are hand-harvested and taken immediately to our production facility for packaging that same day.

There, the tomatoes go through inspection, where only the best are selected. These tomatoes are smashed, puréed and then strained to remove all seeds and skins. Next, an evaporator machine is used to concentrate the tomato liquid to just the right consistency. The resulting tomato product is a bright red, silky smooth passata boasting a fresh tomato flavor.

Throughout the entire process, temperatures remain low to ensure the natural properties of the tomato remain intact and that the quality isn’t compromised. This is what gives passata its bright, fresh tomato flavor.

How to Use Passata

Generally, passata can be used in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes, but passata is thicker than diced or crushed tomatoes, as it contains less liquid. Using passata in place of canned tomatoes will lend to a thicker texture and more intense tomato flavor.

Use passata in place of whole peeled tomatoes when recipes call for tomatoes to be hand-crushed or blended to a smooth consistency.

Passata is best for recipes that require a smooth product without tomato pieces. Soups, light pasta sauces, pizza sauces and stews are few examples. Because passata is thicker with less water content than canned tomatoes, it cuts down on simmer time, making it perfect for quick-cook sauces.

Passata FAQ

  • What is passata? Passata is made with tomato only—with no seasonings or additives. These tomatoes are pureed and strained of seeds and skins. To explain better:
    • What’s the difference between passata and tomato paste? Our Passata and Tomato Paste are made with the same variety of Italian tomato using the same production methods. The difference is that the tomato paste goes through a longer evaporation process that removes more water, creating a double-concentrated tomato product with a thicker consistency.
    • What’s the difference between passata and crushed and diced tomato products? Crushed and diced tomato products include tomato solids; whereas, passata is just the purée or tomato liquid with a velvety smooth texture.
    • Can you substitute passata for tomato sauce? You can use passata in place of tomato sauce, but it’s not a completely equal substitute. While they both are similar in consistency, tomato sauce is cooked and so doesn’t have the bright, bold tomato flavor of passata.
    • Passata vs. Heat-and-Serve Pasta Sauces: Pasta sauces are cooked down and already at the right consistency for adding to your pasta. These heat-and-serve sauces are already heavily seasoned with spices and herbs. Passata is more of the foundation to your sauce recipe, an ingredient that adds raw, bright tomato flavor.
    • What should you look for when buying store-bought passata? The ingredient list should be simple: tomatoes. Choose passata without seasonings or additives. When tomatoes are the only ingredient, quality truly matters. That’s why we love Italian-grown tomatoes for our passata.

What to Look For in a Store-Bought Passata: 

Passata is almost always sold in glass bottles. And the ingredient list should be short: tomatoes and salt.

The uses for passata are endless. It’s a flavorful foundation for a number of Italian dishes—including pasta sauces and soups—but it’s more than that. Its rich and vibrant tomato flavor shines in so many everyday recipes. Passata is a ready-to-use ingredient and pantry essential.

  • Quick and easy sauces for weeknight pasta
  • Robust tomato base for soups and chili recipes
  • Vibrant addition to braised meats, meatloaves and baked meatballs
  • Simple pizza sauces
  • Create tangy marinara for dipping crispy breaded appetizers and breadsticks
  • Simple tomato sauces for stuffed peppers and baked pasta
  • Bloody Marys

Recipes

Recipe: Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage
A bowl of pasta with beans and greens
Recipe: Beans & Greens Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage Passata
Recipe: Buttery Shrimp & Tomato Cioppino
Recipe: Tomato and Onion Jam
Chicken parm gnocchi bake
Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Gnocchi Bake
Recipe: Loaded Bloody Mary

Need some more inspiration? Check our gallery of recipes!