15-Minutes Passata Sauce Recipe – An Italian Cuisine

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I advise you to try this homemade Passata Sauce Recipe , a staple in Italian cuisine. Perfect for pasta, it’s simple yet rich in flavor. You only need ripe tomatoes, a hint of garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil. Remember, the universal rule is to simmer, enhancing the taste. On the other hand, avoid overcomplicating it. You’ll get a velvety, aromatic sauce ideal for various dishes.

Embarking on a culinary journey often leads to unexpected delights, like discovering the authentic Passata Sauce Recipe during travels across Middle-Eastern and European countries. Imagine you’re in a bustling Italian trattoria, the aroma of simmering tomatoes filling the air. 

Passata Sauce Recipe

Yet, back home, replicating this sauce feels daunting. Fear not! You can recreate this classic with just ripe tomatoes, garlic, and basil. 

I remember a friend’s dinner party where this sauce was the star — it transformed a simple pasta into a gourmet experience.

Now, when my kids clamor for “that special spaghetti,” I know they mean the Passata Sauce I perfected. Here’s how you can, too, effortlessly bring a slice of my travels into your kitchen.

What Is Passata Sauce?

Passata sauce is a smooth, uncooked tomato purée, pivotal in Italian cooking. It’s made by removing tomato skins and seeds, leaving behind a velvety, rich texture. 

Unlike tomato paste or sauce, passata is thicker and more concentrated yet retains a fresh tomato flavor. It’s perfect for dishes requiring a tomato base without chunks, like soups, stews, or pizza sauce

Homemade passata surpasses store-bought versions in taste and quality. It’s a versatile ingredient, adaptable to various recipes, and a staple in kitchens seeking to capture the essence of authentic Italian cuisine.

History Of Passata Sauce Recipe

The origins of Passata sauce trace back to Italy, where preserving the bounty of summer tomatoes has long been a tradition. 

While it’s hard to pinpoint a single inventor, Italian families, particularly in the south, have been perfecting passata for generations. 

It emerged as a practical solution to enjoy tomatoes year-round. Before refrigeration, families gathered post-harvest to make passata, crushing and straining tomatoes. 

This communal activity, often involving large, celebratory gatherings, ensured a supply of tomato sauce throughout the winter. 

Today, passata remains a symbol of Italian culinary heritage, embodying simplicity, community, and the art of preservation.

Interesting Facts About Passata Sauce Recipe

Passata originated from Italian homes to preserve the summer’s tomato harvest, ensuring a year-round supply of fresh-tasting sauce. Different regions in Italy have unique twists on passata, with variations in seasoning and consistency.

Roots In Home Preservation

Passata originated from Italian homes to preserve the summer’s tomato harvest, ensuring a year-round supply of fresh-tasting sauce.

Regional Variations

Different regions in Italy have unique twists on passata, with variations in seasoning and consistency.

Health Benefits

Rich in lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, passata is delicious and beneficial for heart health.

Global Popularity

Passata has gained international fame, becoming a staple in various cuisines beyond Italy and showcasing its versatility.

Culinary Staple

It’s a fundamental ingredient in many Italian dishes, from classic pasta to risotto and pizza.

Annual Tradition

In many Italian communities, making passata is an annual tradition, often involving family gatherings and festivals.

Artisanal Vs. Commercial

Homemade passata often surpasses store-bought versions in flavor, highlighting the importance of fresh, quality ingredients.

Simplicity In Ingredients

Typically, passata is made with just tomatoes, sometimes with a touch of salt, emphasizing the importance of simplicity in Italian cooking.

Jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • Sicily: Infused with local herbs like oregano and basil, Sicilian passata often includes a touch of chili for a spicy kick.
  • Tuscany: Tuscan passata may feature richer flavors with the addition of regional olive oils and sometimes a hint of garlic.
  • Campania: Campania’s passata is often purer and thicker, focusing on the natural sweetness of the fruit known for its quality tomatoes.
  • Puglia: In Puglia, they sometimes blend roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, into the passata for a deeper, more complex flavor.
  • Veneto: The Veneto version might include a dash of vinegar or wine, adding a subtle tang to the sauce.
  • Calabria: Calabrian passata is typically spicier, incorporating local hot peppers for a fiery flavor profile.

What Will Make You Love This Passata Sauce Recipe?

  • Simplicity: Its straightforward preparation showcases the natural flavors of tomatoes, making it a perfect recipe for all cooking levels.
  • Versatility: Passata serves as a base for various dishes, from pasta sauces to soups and stews.
  • Rich Flavor: The sauce captures the essence of ripe tomatoes, offering a depth of taste that enhances any meal.
  • Healthy Choice: Packed with antioxidants like lycopene, it’s a nutritious addition to your diet.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable, you can add herbs or spices to suit your taste preferences.
  • Time-Saver: Once prepared, it can be stored and used as needed, saving time on busy days.
  • Culinary Adventure: Making passata at home brings a piece of Italian culinary tradition into your kitchen.
  • Family-Friendly: Its mild, pleasing flavor is a hit for adults and kids alike.
  • Pure Ingredients: This homemade sauce is a healthy, clean eating option free from preservatives and artificial additives.
  • Cultural Experience: Embracing the art of making passata connects you to a rich, communal Italian heritage.

Ingredients List

Tomato (halved or quartered)1 kg
Garlic cloves (halved)6
Olive oil1 tbsp
Caster sugar1 tsp

Ingredient Tips

  • Choose Ripe Tomatoes: Opt for ripe, juicy tomatoes as they yield a richer and sweeter passata.
  • Fresh Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves for a more robust flavor than pre-minced garlic.
  • Quality Olive Oil: Invest in good quality olive oil for a smoother, more authentic taste.
  • Caster Sugar Balance: Adjust the caster sugar based on the acidity of your tomatoes to ensure a balanced flavor.
  • Tomato Varieties: Experiment with different tomato varieties like Roma or San Marzano for varied flavors and textures.
  • Organic Options: If possible, use organic ingredients to ensure the purest taste.
  • Herb Enhancements: Consider adding fresh basil or oregano for an aromatic touch.
  • Salt for Seasoning: A pinch of salt can enhance the natural flavors of the tomatoes and garlic.
  • Consistency Control: For a thicker sauce, simmer longer; for a thinner sauce, reduce cooking time.
  • Storage Savvy: If making in bulk, know that passata freezes well so that you can enjoy it for months.

What Are The Variations Of Passata Sauce Recipe?

  • Herb-Infused Passata: Adding basil, oregano, or thyme during the simmering process for an aromatic twist.
  • Spicy Passata: Incorporate chili flakes or fresh peppers for a fiery version.
  • Roasted Garlic Passata: Roast garlic cloves before blending into the sauce for a deeper, caramelized flavor.
  • Creamy Passata: Stir in cream or mascarpone cheese for a richer, velvety texture.
  • Vegan Passata: Ensure that you use only plant-based ingredients, which are ideal for vegan diets.
  • Chunky Passata: Less blending for a more rustic, textured sauce.
  • Passata Rustica: Incorporate roasted bell peppers or eggplants for a smoky flavor.
  • Sweet and Savory Passata: Add a touch of honey or maple syrup to balance the tomato acidity.
  • Passata Arrabbiata: Blend garlic and red chili for a classic spicy Italian sauce.
  • Wine-Enriched Passata: A splash of red or white wine for an added depth of flavor.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Start the Sauce: Place tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes have completely collapsed.
  • Season and Reduce: Season generously with salt and pepper, then stir in the caster sugar. Remove the lid and boil for 5 minutes until the garlic is soft.

Ferment Method (Optional)

  • If you prefer a fermented twist, add a small amount of starter culture to the sauce after cooling. Let it ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days before refrigerating or freezing.

Finishing Steps

  • Sieve and Store: Allow the mixture to cool. Then, pass the contents through a sieve to remove skins and seeds, obtaining a smooth passata.

Storage Options

  • Freezing: Pour into freezer-proof containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Refrigerating: Pour into jars and refrigerate. Consume within 1 week.
  • Immediate Use: The passata can be used in sauces, soups, and stews.

Discover the culinary magic of Passata sauce, where every bite is a delightful journey into Italian deliciousness.

Scaling The Passata Sauce Recipe

Scaling Up

  • Double the Ingredients: For a larger batch, simply double or triple the quantities of tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.
  • Larger Pot Needed: Use a bigger saucepan to accommodate the increased volume.
  • Longer Cooking Time: Expect a slightly extended cooking time for the tomatoes to collapse entirely.
  • Batch Storage: Consider storing in multiple containers if freezing or refrigerating.

Scaling Down

  • Halve the Ingredients: Reduce all ingredients by half for a smaller batch.
  • Shorter Cooking Time: Less quantity may require slightly less cooking time.
  • Small-Batch Storage: Use smaller jars or containers for freezing or refrigeration.
  • Consistency Watch: Keep an eye on the sauce’s consistency, as smaller quantities can thicken faster.
Passata Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

Absolutely! The versatility of passata sauce extends beyond just being a base for Italian dishes.

  • As a Marinade: Its rich tomato flavor makes it perfect for marinating meats, adding depth and moisture. Try adding herbs and spices to suit the protein.
  • Dipping Sauce: Thick it slightly or mix it with ingredients like cream cheese for a delicious dip. It pairs well with breadsticks, grilled vegetables, or finger foods.
  • Salad Dressing: When thinned out, passata can be a unique base for salad dressings. Blend with olive oil, vinegar, and your choice of seasonings for a tangy, tomato-based dressing.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Passata Sauce Recipe?

Classic Spaghetti

The quintessential pairing of spaghetti and passata sauce makes for a simple yet satisfying meal.

Homemade Pizza

Use it as a base sauce for pizzas, complementing various toppings.


Serve meatballs in passata sauce for a rich and hearty dish.

Parmigiana Dishes

Ideal for eggplant or chicken parmigiana, providing a moist and flavorful coating.


Layer it in lasagna for a moist and flavorful element.

Stuffed Peppers

Use it to cook or top off stuffed peppers, adding a fresh tomato flavor.

Minestrone Soup

Enhance soups like minestrone with its rich tomato base.


A great addition to vegetable dishes like ratatouille for added depth.

Bruschetta Topping

Perfect for a simple bruschetta topped with fresh basil and mozzarella.


Ideal for making Middle-Eastern dishes like shakshuka, where eggs are poached in a tomato sauce.

Passata Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Passata Sauce Recipe?

  • Spaghetti Bolognese: A staple where passata provides the tomato base for the rich meat sauce.
  • Margherita Pizza: Essential for the classic tomato sauce layer under the mozzarella and basil.
  • Eggplant Parmigiana: Passata adds moisture and flavor to the layers of eggplant and cheese.
  • Minestrone Soup: Forms the tomato-rich broth for this hearty vegetable soup.
  • Chicken Cacciatore: Used in the tomato sauce in which the chicken is simmered.
  • Risotto Alla Pescatora: Adds a tomato element to this seafood risotto.
  • Ratatouille: Enhances the vegetable stew with its tomato richness.
  • Gnocchi al Pomodoro: Coats the soft gnocchi in a smooth tomato sauce.
  • Lasagna: A key component in layering this classic Italian dish.
  • Shakshuka: Base for the spiced tomato sauce in which eggs are poached.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations Passata Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Tomato Richness: The essence of ripe tomatoes delivers a deep, robust flavor.
  • Sweetness: Natural sweetness from the tomatoes provides a pleasant, subtle undertone.
  • Umami: A savory, umami quality that enhances the overall taste profile.
  • Mild Acidity: A slight tanginess that balances the sweetness and adds complexity.
  • Garlic Aroma: The infusion of garlic adds a warm, aromatic dimension.
  • Herbal Notes: Optional herbs like basil or oregano introduce fresh, earthy flavors.
  • Olive Oil Smoothness: A hint of olive oil contributes a smooth, velvety texture and mild fruitiness.
  • Balanced Saltiness: A subtle saltiness that elevates and harmonizes all flavors.
  • Freshness: Overall, there is a sense of freshness that resonates in every spoonful.
  • Customizable Spice: The potential for adding heat with chili flakes or peppers, if desired.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Passata sauce is ideal for storage and preservation, making it a convenient option for future use.

  • Refrigeration: Passata can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container or jar.
  • Freezing: For longer preservation, freeze it in freezer-safe containers or bags. Properly stored, it can last up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Canning: Passata can be canned using a water bath canning method for an even longer shelf life. When canned and sealed correctly, it can last up to a year in a cool, dark pantry.

What Are The Substitutes For Passata Sauce Recipe?

  • Canned Tomatoes: Crushed, diced, or whole peeled tomatoes can be blended and strained as a close substitute.
  • Tomato Purée: A bit thicker than passata but can be thinned down with a little water or broth.
  • Tomato Paste: Dilute with water to reach a passata-like consistency; ideal for a richer, more concentrated flavor.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: Blended and strained fresh tomatoes make an excellent fresh alternative.
  • Marinara Sauce: Pre-made marinara sauce can work in a pinch, though it often contains added herbs and garlic.
  • Salsa: Strained salsa can substitute for a more textured and seasoned option.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: Blended and strained for a sweeter, non-tomato alternative.
  • Ketchup: Thin with water; best used in small quantities due to added sugars and vinegar.
  • V8 or Tomato Juice: Works well for soups or stews, though it’s more liquid and less concentrated.
  • Canned Tomato Soup: It can be used in recipes where the sauce’s texture is less critical, strained, and reduced.
Passata Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of passata sauce is straightforward:

To Thicken: Simmer the sauce over low heat, allowing excess water to evaporate. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

  • Use Tomato Paste: Add a small amount of tomato paste for a quicker thickening effect.
  • Cornstarch Slurry: Mix a small amount of cornstarch with water and stir it into the sauce.

To Thin Out: Add some water, vegetable broth, or even tomato juice to lighten the sauce’s consistency.

  • Blending: If the sauce is too chunky, use a blender or food processor to achieve a smoother texture.
  • Cooking Time: Adjust the cooking time; longer cooking results in a thicker sauce, while shorter cooking retains more liquid.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

The serving temperature of passata sauce largely depends on its intended use:

  • Warm: Generally, it’s served warm for most dishes like pasta, lasagna, or as a base in soups and stews. Heating enhances its flavors and melds it well with other ingredients.
  • Room Temperature: When used as a pizza sauce, it’s often spread at room temperature to prevent the dough from becoming soggy.
  • Cold: In some applications, like a dipping sauce for breadsticks or a fresh bruschetta topping, it can be served cold, offering a refreshing, tomato-rich flavor.
Passata Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

Passata sauce, primarily made from tomatoes, is low in calories but rich in essential nutrients. It offers a good dose of vitamins A and C and antioxidants like lycopene. 

With minimal fat and no cholesterol, it’s a heart-healthy choice. It also provides dietary fiber and a modest amount of protein.

What Are The Total Calories In Passata Sauce Recipe?

The total calorie content in homemade passata sauce primarily depends on the ingredients used. Most calories come from the tomatoes and olive oil in a basic recipe comprising 1 kg of tomatoes, 6 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. This recipe would yield approximately 200-250 calories for the entire batch. 

Passata Sauce Recipe

Turn your meals into unforgettable Italian feasts with Passata sauce, the secret to authentic taste and deliciousness.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Passata Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: Naturally free from gluten, making it suitable for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Contains no animal products, ideal for vegan and vegetarian diets.
  • Low-Calorie: Generally low in calories, beneficial for weight management diets.
  • Low-Fat: Minimal fat content, mainly when made with less or no olive oil.
  • Nut-Free: Does not include nuts, safe for those with nut allergies.
  • Dairy-Free: No dairy ingredients are involved, which makes it suitable for lactose intolerance and dairy-free diets.
  • Low-Sodium: Can be made with minimal or no added salt, suitable for low-sodium diets.
  • Whole30/Paleo: Complies with Whole30 and Paleo guidelines if no sugar or non-compliant oils are used.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Not Using Ripe Tomatoes: Underripe tomatoes can produce a bland, acidic sauce.
  • Overcooking: Excessive cooking can diminish the fresh tomato flavor and produce a thick sauce.
  • Skipping the Straining Process: Failing to sieve the sauce can leave seeds and skins, affecting the texture.
  • Over-seasoning: Adding too much salt, sugar, or herbs can overpower the natural tomato flavor.
  • Using Low-Quality Olive Oil: Inferior olive oil can adversely affect the taste.
  • Not Cooking Tomatoes Enough: Undercooking can prevent the flavors from fully developing and leave excess liquid.
  • Ignoring Acidity Balance: Not adjusting the sweetness to balance the natural acidity of tomatoes.
  • Not Stirring Regularly: Neglecting to stir can lead to burning or uneven cooking.
  • Improper Storage: Not storing the sauce properly can lead to spoilage.
  • Rushing the Process: Rushing the simmering process can prevent the development of a rich, deep flavor.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Pizza Toast: Spread over slices of bread, top with cheese and toppings, and bake for a quick pizza alternative.
  • Shakshuka: Use as a base for this Middle Eastern egg dish.
  • Tomato Soup: Enhance with broth, cream, and spices for a comforting soup.
  • Savory Oatmeal: Stir into cooked oatmeal with herbs and cheese for a savory breakfast twist.
  • Stuffed Vegetables: Use as a filling base for stuffed bell peppers or zucchini.
  • Tomato Risotto: Incorporate into risotto for a tomato-infused version.
  • Bloody Mary Mix: Blend with seasonings for a homemade Bloody Mary cocktail base.
  • Marinade: Use as a marinade for meats or vegetables.
  • Tomato Gravy: Thicken with flour and seasonings for a unique gravy.
  • Baked Pasta Dish: Mix with pasta, cheese, and bake for a simple casserole.
Bowl and Spoon

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Large Saucepan: Essential for cooking the tomatoes and garlic.
  • Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring the ingredients to prevent sticking and burning.
  • Fine Mesh Sieve or Food Mill: Crucial for straining the sauce to achieve a smooth texture.
  • Blender or Food Processor: Handy if a smoother consistency is desired.
  • Storage Jars or Containers: For refrigerating or freezing the leftover sauce.
  • Ladle: Helps in transferring the sauce for storage.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: For preparing the garlic and tomatoes.
  • Measuring Spoons: For accurately measuring olive oil and sugar.
  • Canning Tools (Optional): If planning to can the sauce, include a canning jar lifter, jars, lids, and a water bath canner.
  • Thermometer (Optional): Useful for monitoring the sauce temperature, especially if canning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Passata Sauce And Tomato Sauce?

Passata is a smooth, uncooked tomato purée, whereas traditional tomato sauce often includes additional seasonings and may be cooked.

Can I Use Canned Tomatoes Instead Of Fresh Ones For This Recipe?

Yes, canned tomatoes can be a substitute, but the flavor might slightly differ from fresh, ripe tomatoes.

How Can I Store Leftover Passata Sauce, And For How Long?

Leftover passata can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months in airtight containers.

Is Passata Sauce Suitable For Vegetarians And Vegans?

Yes, as it’s made from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and sugar, it’s naturally vegan and vegetarian-friendly.

Can I Add Other Ingredients To The Basic Passata Sauce Recipe?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment by adding herbs like basil, oregano, or spices for additional flavors.

15-Minutes Passata Sauce Recipe – An Italian Cuisine

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Course: Sauces


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Passata Sauce is a traditional Italian tomato sauce celebrated for its smooth texture and rich flavor. Made from pureed and strained tomatoes, it’s a versatile kitchen staple. This sauce is cooked with garlic and olive oil, then seasoned lightly to enhance its natural taste. It’s a simple yet essential ingredient in many Italian dishes. It provides a fresh tomato base for everything from pasta sauces to soups.


  • 1 kg 1 Tomato (Halved Or Quartered)

  • 6 6 Garlic Cloves (Halved)

  • 1 tbsp 1 Olive oil

  • 1 tsp 1 Caster sugar

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Place the tomatoes, halved garlic cloves, and olive oil in a large saucepan.
    Set the saucepan over medium heat.
    Cover the saucepan.
    Cook for 10 minutes. Occasionally shake the pan to ensure even cooking.
    Continue cooking until the tomatoes have completely collapsed.
  • Season the mixture generously with salt and pepper.
    Add the caster sugar.
    Remove the lid from the saucepan.
    Let the sauce boil for another 5 minutes or until the garlic becomes soft.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat.
    Allow the sauce to cool down to a safe temperature.
  • Once cooled, sieve the tomato mixture to remove skins and seeds, obtaining a smooth passata.
  • The sauce is now ready to be added to your favorite recipes like sauces, soups, and stews.
    To store, pour the passata into freezer-proof containers. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
    Alternatively, pour the passata into jars and store them in the fridge. Use within 1 week for best quality.

Recipe Video


  • The quality of tomatoes is essential; choose ripe, flavorful varieties for the best results.
  • Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste; some prefer a hint of sweetness, while others may opt for a more savory profile.
  • If you find the sauce too acidic, a pinch of sugar can balance the flavors.
  • This sauce freezes well, so it’s convenient to make in large batches for future use.
  • Experiment with herbs like basil or oregano for added flavor dimensions.
  • Remember, the simplicity of the ingredients makes passata sauce special; it’s all about highlighting the natural goodness of tomatoes.

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