Charred Tomato Passata

Oxmoor House
Charred Tomato PassataRecipe
Photo: Oxmoor House


Chefs survive on a group of foundational recipes, such as stocks, mother sauces, and mirepoix. This is one of those. When you can get your hands on wonderfully ripe roma tomatoes, make this passata and use it liberally. It freezes well and can be used in recipes in place of canned tomato sauce. Because of the incredible char achieved, we bypass the food mill (commonly used for passata) and make a more rustic edition using a food processor.


Serves 8 (serving size: 1/2 cup)


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24 roma tomatoes (about 3 pounds), stem end trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 fresh basil leaves


Hands-on: 10 Minutes
Total: 1 Hour, 40 Minutes

Preheat your oven to 450°.

Wash the tomatoes, then remove the stem end, and, using a paring knife, score an "X" into the pointed end of the tomato. Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl.

Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes.

Using a tossing motion, coat the tomatoes with the olive oil.

Sprinkle the salt over the tomatoes. Now, toss them again, showing off your Mad Skills.

Place the seasoned tomatoes on a baking sheet in an even layer, with an inch or so separation between the tomatoes.

Bake the tomatoes at 450° for 1 hour and 20 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. They'll be blistered, super-soft, and markedly wilted.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Peel the tomatoes, if desired. You can leave as much or as little of the charred skin as you desire.

Using a food processor or a blender, blend until nearly smooth.

In your hands, crush the basil leaves. Throw the crushed leaves into the passata. Now, bring your hands to your nose as if to pray. Open your hands toward your nose. Enjoy.

Now, stir the passata, or process the passata again to blend in the basil. It's better when the leaves are just wilted-in whole.

Reserve in a refrigerator-friendly container until ready to use. Yes, you can freeze it.

Created date

September 2014

Nutritional Information

Calories 61
Fat 3.8 g
Satfat 0.6 g
Monofat 2.6 g
Polyfat 0.6 g
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrate 7 g
Fiber 2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 249 mg
Calcium 18 mg