Roasted tomato passata and a new Asian grocer’s

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Here’s a delicious way to deal to a glut of tomatoes, either from your own patch, or from the markets. I’d just used up all my ripe Black Krims making relish but had gone out and bought a whole lot of tomatoes at a ridiculous 99c/kilo. That was at my favourite new Chinese supermarket, the Greenlane Market Place, which took over the space vacated by Huckleberry Farms when they moved. It’s light (very well-lit, in fact), large and very very clean. There’s a good variety of fruit and veg, all super fresh, plus a couple of stands of produce best suited to jam/relish/sauce making, going for cheap. There’s also a small fishmonger, a butcher, and a hanging duck and pork corner. There’s an aisle dedicated to organic dry goods and other products, too. As well as the tomatoes, other bargains I picked up the other day included 79c aubergines, 60c sweetcorn and a 100g pack of goji berries for just $2.80 (like, $8 or more at Countdown!) Happily noted they don’t even stock Chinese garlic, only the local stuff.

Got home with tomatoes and came across a delicious looking Roasted Tomato Passata in the awesome book Whole Larder Love, which was an Xmas pressie from my sister – thanks Tess! I liked the sound of roasting the tomatoes as opposed to boiling them, creating a more intense flavour. That it did, in spades. here’s the recipe – adapted from the book. I left out the basil because I was freezing the sauce. Double, triple the recipe and freeze the sauce, or keep smaller amounts in the fridge for a week or so.

Wash 1.5 kilos ripe tomatoes, then slice and lay out on a large roasting tray. Add about 6 whole, peeled cloves of garlic; more if you’re a big garlic fan, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over about 3 Tbsp olive oil. Roast in an oven preheated to 200 degrees celsius for about 45-55 minutes. Using a large sieve over a large bowl, push the cooked tomatoes and garlic through the sieve (using a blunt wooden spoon works well), discarding the skin and leftover tough bits. It’s best to do this bit in batches to make sure you get the most passata out of the tomatoes. One you’ve strained all the tomatoes, you can either freeze this plain tomato and garlic passata, or add fresh herbs like basil or oregano and keep passata in the fridge to use in whatever dish you like. I had cut up and roasted 2 medium aubergines and about 12 mushrooms until almost caramelised (about 1 hour) at the same time as roasting the tomatoes. Always good to make the most of a hot oven! So I then tossed the roasted veges through the passata and separated in to two batches to freeze. Each batch is enough for a family meal – you could use it as a pasta sauce, very much like my Roasted aubergine pasta sauce but with home-made passata – even better, or serve it with cheesy polenta, or just with a hunk of crusty sourdough.

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2 thoughts on “Roasted tomato passata and a new Asian grocer’s

  1. Wow Anna, you hit a goldmine of produce bargains. I’m super jealous. There’s no one stop shop locally where I can count on bargains, I have to spread my shopping between 3 locations to get a good deal. I am enjoying the cheap tomatoes though. I think I’ll have to make a batch of roast tomato passata too. I never thought of freezing it, usually it’s bottled or canned but freezing eliminates any sterilizing concerns.

  2. The little shops inside weren’t open when I visited a month and a bit ago. Greenlane Market Place was a saviour for my parents when they were trying to buy roast meat for Chinese New Year though – all the other places had sold out or you needed to have ordered in advance!

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