Weekend Kitchen Chat

Welcome to another weekend of Kitchen Chat.

6:15 am. Sounds of my alarm. Listened to the sound of ABC FM radio. It was still dark, quite dark. And, quite cool. It is autumn in Tasmania. I was not ready to get up. My head was still covered with a layer of flat sheet and doona on top, to stay warm. But, my brain refused to rest and began to work. “Concentrate,” “please concentrate on the music.” “Don’t think!,” “please don’t think!” But, no – my brain had to start thinking and working. That is me.

In last weekend Kitchen Chat, Michelle of Elsa and Hugo told us she spent the week in her garden, collecting her heirloom tomatoes and planning to make “passata”. That was the first time I have heard of the word, “passata”. I quickly Google Search, “what is passata”. It came back with 141,000 results. The first search result read, “the definition of tomato puree vary between regions. In the USA, tomato puree is a processed food product….” I told myself “passata” is an Italian name. After reading the third or fourth search results, I came to a conclusion that “passata” is a type of tomato concentrate or paste. But, I was still unsure how I should use my homegrown tomatoes to make “passata”. Not until I read a new post in Rita’s Bite. The word, “passata” was mentioned in her new post. I wrote a comment on her post seeking some directions. She explained in her first sentence that put a big smile on my face, “Everyone has their preferred recipe Victor, so please yourself with what you use/do…” That is what I like to hear – create your own version of “passata”. It can be anything as long as it is tomato base and looks like a paste, a concentrate, a puree, a sauce that can be used later in other dishes.

That begins my week of “PA-SA-TA”. For the first couple of nights, all I can think of is PA-SA-TA, PA-SA-TA, PA-SA-TA ringing in my ears.

The making of my own pasata.

My homegrown tomatoes – the rest and last of this season harvest.

Immerse them in a big bowl of hot boiling water for a few minutes. Then remove the skin.

I made 2 versions of “passata” – a simple basic version with onion and garlic, and a spicy version with onion, garlic, chilies and kaffir lime leaves. I made 1 big jar of basic passata and four smaller jars of spicy passata. The jars were sterilised in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes before jarring them.

Thanks, Rita. I made my first PA-SA-TA!

We learn something new all the time, adapt to new challenges and environments. This week I learnt how to make my own “passata”. What about you? Something to share – new or old?

4 responses to “Weekend Kitchen Chat

  1. I love you Victor! You REALLY rock! Good on you making your passata! I have just returned from HUGE weekend up north – and am now about to start trying to write about it on my blog, but needed to see what my blogging mates had been up to first! All hail Victor – King of Passata!

    • LOL, Rita. I love you too!!! Thanks to you, I am a Passata convert now!

      I just read your new post too, your gastronomy tour up North. Once again, a great write-up and review. And, most interesting concept of the restaurant – Freefall menu. You think that will work? I mean no fixed menu – on the spot “invention” by the chefs, with whatever produces in the kitchen and not one table having the same dish. Ambitious and challenging. Almost like an experimentation on the paying customer. Sorry if I sound a bit of a skeptic. I like to hear what the other chefs have to say.

  2. It’s hard for me to comprehend that it’s fall there and spring here. I normally only grow cherry tomatoes, seeing your different varieties of tomato gives me an idea to grow a variety also.

    The Passata looks real good, I see you add a twist in your ingredients.

    • Nye – my favourite is the Roma tomato. It is sweet and full of flavour.

      I guess the good thing is that we can escape the cold winter by taking a holiday to the northern hemisphere, and vice versa.

      Kaffir lime spicy passata. It is really good. You can use your own kaffir lime leaves from your tree, and tomatoes from your garden. 🙂

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