You probably already have a jar of it in your kitchen
Though you may not know it by name, odds are you’ve picked up a jar or can of passata at some point. Passata (also known as passato or passata di pomodoro, and sometimes “strained tomatoes”) is a smooth mixture of raw tomatoes that have been blended and sieved to remove skins and seeds. While it's in the same family as tomato sauce or tomato paste, passata is uncooked and mostly unseasoned (it is sometimes salted). Because it’s such a simple ingredient, passata can blend seamlessly into a number of breakfast dishes.
Whether you call it eggs in purgatory or shakshuka, there’s typically a consensus around the flavors being ideal for brunch. When using passata in the dish, developing more complex flavor is key: start with onions, garlic, chile peppers, and salt, then work your way into seasoning. Cumin and paprika? Red pepper flakes and oregano? The choice is yours.
Use passata as a base for matbucha, a sweet and spicy tomato sauce typically part of a Levantine mezze plate. Mix it with salt to taste and dollop it on garlic-rubbed toast for Spanish pan con tomate. Of course, it can also be used to put together a classic marinara sauce, and if you’re not eating pizza or pasta for breakfast, you’re missing out.
Stews and Soups
You can make gazpacho with passata, and in colder months, use it for a pop of acidity in warm tomato-based curries and stews.
You might be more used to adding chopped fresh tomatoes or salsa to huevos rancheros, but next time you make the dish, add a scoop of passata to your can of refried or black beans. The sweetness from the tomatoes will brighten the delightfully fat-leaden meal.
Yes, passata can easily take the place of tomato juice in your next bloody mary. Taste as you go and you’ll end up with a drink far more flavorful than any old mix.