I’ve streamlined this by draining and pureeing canned tomatoes. You’ll need 2 – 28oz/796 mL tins of whole Product of Canada canned tomatoes. Break them apart with your hands, removing seeds if you wish. Transfer them to a colander, let drain over a bowl; reserve the juice for another use and puree the tomatoes. The reason I don’t recommend buying ‘passata’ is simply because I’ve never seen one that is made in Canada from our rich, flavourful tomatoes.
- 3 cups (750 mL) tomato puree
- ½ cup (75 mL) cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) pickling spice
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 3 – 4 whole allspice (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into chunks
- 1 tsp (5 mL) red pepper flakes
- ½ cup (125 mL) well packed brown sugar
- Salt, to taste
In a heavy saucepan combine the puree and cider vinegar. Tie all the spices together in cheesecloth to make a small spice bag. Add to the mixture. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered for 10 – 12 minutes or till beginning to really thicken. Add the sugar, return to a simmer and continue to cook till thick. Remove spice bag; taste and add salt as needed, stirring well.
Transfer into clean glass jars. Refrigerate till serving.
Makes about 3 cups (750 mL).