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Charred Tomato Passata

Photo: Oxmoor House


Hands-on time 10 mins
Total time 1 hr, 40 mins
Yield Serves 8 (serving size: 1/2 cup)
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. 


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

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°.

  2. 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.

  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

Cooking Light Mad Delicious