Canning: Roasted Tomato Passata

Tomatoes are one of the quintessential canned foods in my life, lined up nicely in the pantry with jars of peaches, pickles and green beans. The luscious red fruits are eye candy when they make first appearances at the farmers market, beckoning to be purchased and sliced, served fresh on toast with bacon and tender greens. Always seeming too soon, winter rushes tomatoes from the vine and into glass jars for soups, stews and sauces to carry us through the cold. I crave tomatoes year round and seeing the fruit stands in Willard lined with the end-of-season tomatoes gave way to passata.
The River Cottage Preserves Handbookwill make your mouth water with the savory photo on page 165 of the American edition, a picture of roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs calling to become your dinner. I knew this recipe would find its way into my larder the first time I flipped through the book. Here is my ode, plus the view of a quadruple batch (one sheet was one batch according to the recipe amounts). You can also see the juice/sauce as it heated in pot.

 This was a simple recipe. Quarter the tomatoes, roast on a cake sheet with onions, garlic, oil, sugar, salt and herbs. Run it through the food mill. Heat to boiling, then process in sterilized jars. See the book for the official recipe as well as the recommended processing times and method. Then eat it plain as tomato soup (or with a bit of cream to be fancy), as a base for soups, curries, sauces, etc, or just look at it lovingly. So good.
27 pints and 12 quarts was the count for the three of us (mom, sister, self)-- we each did a quadruple batch of the recipe. Then a neighbor came over to do a quadruple batch while everything was out, then my sister in law put up her tomatoes the same way a couple days later. I have a feeling this will become a regular recipe in ways to use tomatoes at autumn's end.

I'm still trying to get caught up with the canning posts but instead am finding myself farther behind. As the harvest is coming to a close I am trying to get all the recipes in that I/we had bookmarked and promised to try this season with limited time after a full-time work schedule, out of state travel, trainings, and social lives. I think I'm averaging about one batch of preserves per week so stay tuned for delights like piccalilli, peach butter, and pickled onions as I work my way through the photos and scrawled notes.

PS. If it's possible, I think I'm falling head over heels for someone while we work our way through River Cottage and various other canning books. I never would have thought to label romance with glass jars, a delicate kitchen dance, messy hands and recipes... but it's perfect.


  1. Just going through your canning posts to get some ideas and I'm thinking this book needs to go in my Amazon cart


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