When it comes to tomato products, the options are abundant. They are not only healthy but also versatile, cheap, and easy to use. But have you ever wondered about the differences between passata, tomato puree, and tomato sauce? And more importantly, when should you use each of them? Let’s explore this topic, with insights from the Italian tomato experts at Bio Orto, a renowned family business that has been producing the most delicious organic tomato products in northern Apulia since 2003.
Passata: The Italian Favorite
Although the Italian word “passata” translates to “puree,” there is a significant difference between passata and the tomato puree we are familiar with. Passata is a thick sauce known for its sweet and creamy texture. It serves as a base for soups and traditional sauces. Passata is made by cold pureeing raw tomatoes, which gives it a distinctive flavor. It can also be used as a substitute for ripe, canned, or glass tomatoes in various recipes.
Recipe: Italian Tomato Soup with Seitan Balls
For those chilly evenings, try this comforting Italian tomato soup with seitan balls. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 onion
- 4 stems of celery
- 500g carrots
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 520g passata di pomodoro
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- 100g vermicelli
- 250g seitan mince
- 15g fresh basil
To prepare the soup, start by cutting the onion, celery, and carrots into slices. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, then fry the onion, celery, and carrots for 5 minutes. Add the passata and vegetable stock, bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Meanwhile, cook the vermicelli according to the instructions on the package. Make small balls from the seitan chopped meat, about 1½ cm in size, and add them to the soup. Let the soup simmer for 5 more minutes. Finally, cut the basil into strips, divide the soup into bowls, and sprinkle it with vermicelli and basil.
Tomato Puree: Concentrated Flavoring
Tomato puree is a concentrated form of tomato that can be found in small cans or tubes. This seasoning is typically used to add a powerful flavor to dishes. It only requires a small amount of tomato puree to enhance the taste of sauces, soups, and stews. Thanks to its thick consistency and bright red color, tomato puree adds body and richness to your recipes.
Tomato Sauce: Ready to Use
Tomato sauce is more fluid than tomato puree and is often ready to use on pastas. It comes seasoned with spices, herbs, and vegetables, such as chili, oregano, basil, onion, and garlic. You can easily make your own tomato sauce by diluting tomato puree with a little water and adding your preferred herbs and spices. To achieve the desired thickness, gently bring the sauce to a boil and let it simmer.
Recipe: Italian Conchiglie with Fennel-Tomato Sauce
Here’s a delightful recipe for Italian conchiglie with fennel-tomato sauce:
- 2 medium-sized fennel
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 350g tomato sauce Arrabbiata
- 350g conchiglie pasta
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
To prepare the dish, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Remove the outer skirts and the hard core of the fennel, then wash the tubers well. Cut the fennel into slices lengthwise and cook them for 7-8 minutes. Drain the cooked fennel well in a colander, then place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the fennel slices and roast them in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.
In the meantime, cook the conchiglie pasta according to the instructions on the package until al dente. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander. Cut the roasted fennel into small pieces and stir them into the tomato sauce. Add the pasta shells to the sauce and mix well. Finally, sprinkle the dish with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Why Choose Organic Tomatoes from Bio Orto?
At Bio Orto, the quality of organic tomato products remains optimal as they are packed in glass, featuring beautiful retro packaging. Glass provides an excellent barrier against moisture, gases, and contaminations. It is a natural, clean, and beautiful material, making it not only good for the environment but also for your health.
So the next time you find yourself in the kitchen, wondering which tomato product to use, remember these insights from Bio Orto. Whether you opt for passata, tomato puree, or tomato sauce, each has its unique characteristics that can elevate your recipes to new heights. Enjoy the flavors of Italy, and for more culinary inspiration, visit Family Cuisine.