Why You Should Always Have Tomato Passata In Your Pantry

Add passata di pomodoro to your list of Italian words to remember. A tomato product hailing from the land of pasta and pizza, passata is an uncooked tomato purée that's free of seeds and skins, notes The Kitchn. Totally tomato — except with the addition of a pinch of salt — the jarred sauce has a vibrant crimson color and velvety consistency. Bright and delicious, tomato passata is one ingredient that you should always have in your pantry.

Made during the summertime when tomatoes (typically, San Marzano) are ripe, juicy and bursting with flavor, notes La Cucina Italiana. Tomatoes are cut in half and squeezed to remove juice and seeds before being cooked until tender and run through a food mill to remove skins. The purée is then bottled or left to reduce a bit more before it takes up space on cellar shelves, waiting to be used for your next bowl of saucy spaghetti.

Complex with its mildly acidity and subtle sweetness, passata is delicious. Though its appeal could be rooted in the nostalgia of nonna's Sunday sauce, there's actually another reason why tomato sauce is so darn delicious, and it has to do with science. According to the Boston Globe, as tomatoes are sliced, diced, crushed, puréed and later cooked, their flavor composition is constantly evolving as sugars and carotenoids break down, resulting in that iconic sweet and savory taste. But, besides being the ultimate go-to for topping pasta, why else should passata be a pantry staple?

Reach for passata when you're looking for fresh tomato flavor

According to Serious Eats, Italian brands of passata like Pomi or Mutti are lighter in color and thinner in consistency than American tomato purée varieties like Heinz or Hunt's, which have been reduced and therefore, sweetened. If you instead want fresher tomato flavors in a dish, then passata is the way to go!

An alternative to canned whole tomatoes, passata sauce requires less time to cook down, but maintains all the goodness of just-picked tomatoes. This is precisely why RecipeTin Eats notes that passata can be a fabulous ingredient in a pinch when crafting simple pasta or pizza sauces. Of course, passata is also the ideal simmering sauce for meatballs like these shrimp polpette. But that's not all. It can act as a base for soups, stews, and casseroles — Mutti even suggests using it in your next Bloody Mary.

The most unadulterated version of processed tomatoes that you can find, passata serves as a great building-block ingredient. A great way to simplify any recipe, without compromising on taste, passata is a miracle worker. Plus, the convenience of not having to spend hours simmering tomatoes from scratch is also a major selling point for the puréed tomatoes. Don't think twice about adding passata to your pantry!