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How to make classic Italian tomato sauce

Do you want to bring the authentic taste of Italy into your home this summer? Rather than buying a tube of tomato passata, why not try making your own and embrace the classic culture of Italy? It’s easier than you may think, just follow the steps below!


  • 5kg ripe red tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 500g onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves separated, peeled, bruised
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves torn


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 2 baking trays and line with baking paper.
  2. Spread tomatoes, onion, and garlic evenly across prepared trays, then season with 1 tbs salt flakes and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Divide oil evenly between trays while tossing to combine. Roast (swapping trays halfway) for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes, then stir through basil.
  3. Pass tomato mixture through a sieve into a bowl, extracting as much juice as possible.
  4. Pour the passata into hot jars.
  5. Line the base of a large stockpot (it should be deep enough to submerge the jars under water) with a tea towel and add jars.
  6. Roughly matching the water temperature to the temperature of the jars, pour in enough water to completely cover the jars. Slowly bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil for 40 minutes ensuring that jars are always submerged.
  7. Using a heatproof jug, remove enough water from the pot to allow you to carefully remove jars from water using oven gloves. Set aside at room temperature overnight.
  8. The next day, the jar lids should be concave, if lids are not concave, passata should be stored chilled and used within 2 weeks. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.