Passata is a traditional Italian sauce made from tomatoes — perhaps with the addition of onion, garlic or herbs for flavour. It forms the base of so many dishes — pizza, pasta, parmigana — you name it! A dollup of passata makes it a meal.
Of course you can buy ready-made tomato sauces from the supermarket — and I won’t deny they are very inexpensive. Canned tomatoes themselves are outrageously cheap, but they do come at a cost — and it’s our environment paying the price.
At the crux of the argument for a sustainable food future is the question of food miles. The distance food travels from it’s origin, to storage, to a supermarket and ultimately to your plate. Choosing food which has travelled less food miles (or kilometres) is a really easy way everyone can contribute to a sustainable food future and ease the burden food production has on our environment.
Tinned Italian tomatoes are a terrible culprit — a can which has not only travelled all the way from Italy, but which has required an unneccesary amount of energy to process and pack and creates a waste product (albeit recyclable). I know they are super cheap, but really, seriously just not cool when we have tomato growers right here in the region (Trandos Tomatoes in Neerabup and Beermullah Produce to name two), and throughout Australia!
This recipe can be made entirely using ingredients grown within our region — and is a great alternative to using imported tinned tomatoes or processed sauces, so you can rest easy in the knowledge you are supporting local farmers while providing a healthy meal for yourself and your family!
1 head of garlic
1/2 kilo eggplant
Generous splash of olive oil
2 kilos of tomatoes
1 kilo of squash (optional)
Salt to taste
Chop onion, garlic and eggplant and saute in a large pot with olive oil and salt for a few minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Roughly chop the rest of the vegetables and add to pot, keeping tomatoes until last.
Cook down over a low heat until all the veg are cooked through.
Blend thoroughly with a stick blender until you have a smooth puree.
Decant into appropriately sized containers and freeze for later.
Use over pasta, on a pizza base or as a replacement in any recipe which requires tinned tomatoes.
NOTE: If you have time, roast the tomatoes first, it will add a different level of flavour! Just place in oven on a baking tray and roast for about 40 minutes at 200 deg, or until soft and fragrant. Add some fresh garlic and quartered onions if you like.