Tomato puree, passata and tomato sauce: what are the differences?

When do you use which product? Italian tomato expert Bio Orto explains

Tomato products are abundantly present. They are healthy, versatile, cheap and easy to use. But what exactly is the difference between passata, tomato puree and tomato sauce and when do you use which product? Fortunately, they know this very well at the Italian family business Bio Orto. The Passalacqua family has been producing the most delicious organic tomato products in glass in northern Apulia since 2003.

Passata: the absolute favourite of Italians

Although passata in Italian means 'puree', there is an essential difference between 'our' tomato puree and the Italian passata. Passata is a thick sauce, which is used as a base for soups and traditional sauces, because of its sweet and creamy texture. The tomatoes in tomato puree are generally heated and skinned and must be deacidified before it releases its final flavour. At Passata the tomatoes are (usually) cold pureed and therefore raw. Passata can also serve as a substitute for ripe or canned or glass tomatoes.

RECIPE : Italian tomato soup with seitan balls

RECIPE : Italian tomato soup with seitan balls

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
4 stems celery
500g carrots
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
520g passata di pomodoro
1 litre vegetable stock
100g vermicelli
250g seitan mince
15g fresh basil

PREPARATION

Cut the onion and cut the celery and carrots into slices. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 5 min. Add the passata and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat. Meanwhile, cook the vermicelli according to the instructions on the pack. Make balls of the seitan chopped meat of about 1½ cm in size. Put them in the soup and let them cook for 5 minutes. Cut the basil into strips. Divide the soup over the bowls and sprinkle with vermicelli and basil.

Tomato puree: concentrated flavouring

The concentrated processing of the tomato can be found in small cans or tubes. This seasoning should be briefly fried in order to bring out its powerful flavour. You don't need much of tomato puree to flavor a dish. Because of its thick consistency and bright red colour, tomato puree adds body and colour to sauces, soups and stews. Or do real Italian moms use it too? Well....

Tomato sauce: ready to use

Tomato sauce is more fluid than tomato puree and is often ready to use on pastas. Sauces are usually already seasoned with spices, herbs and vegetables, such as chilli, oregano, basil, onion and garlic. You can easily make your own tomato sauce, by diluting tomato puree with a little water while warming it up and by adding herbs etc. yourself. By gently bringing it to the boil, let it thicken to the desired sauce thickness.

RECIPE: Italian conchiglie with fennel-tomato sauce

RECIPE: Italian conchiglie with fennel-tomato sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 medium-sized fennel
3 tablespoons olive oil
350g tomato sauce Arrabbiata
350 grams of conchiglie
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Remove the outer skirts and the hard core of the fennel and wash the tubers well. Cut into slices lengthwise and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain well in a colander. Then place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast the fennel in the oven for 15 minutes until the slices are golden brown.

Cook the pasta according to the packaging al dente until cooked. Drain in a colander. Cut the roasted fennel into small pieces and stir in the tomato sauce. Add the pasta shells to the sauce and spoon well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Why buy organic tomatoes in Bio Orto glass?

The quality of the organic tomato products remains optimal because the tomatoes are packed in glass, in a beautiful retro packaging. Glass has an excellent barrier against moisture, gases and contaminations. It is 100% natural, clean and beautiful and therefore good for the environment and your health.

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