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Homemade Tomato Passata with Fresh Basil

What can be better than cooking with fresh homemade tomato sauce?

There are no doubts about the answer.

Made with only 2 ingredients this classic Italian passata (passata in Italian literally means “strained”) simply uses strained tomatoes infused with fragrant basil leaves to create the best tomato sauce.

And it’s out of this world delicious.

Homemade Italian Tomato Passta with Fresh Basil Leaves

What else I love about this sauce? – It’s the mother of ALL tomato sauces!

You can tweak it and add more spices if you want to, but having this quality tomato passata is the key to success.

Now, to be completely honest, the process of making passata is really simple, but it’s somewhat time consuming.

And for all-year-round cooking I opt-in for a high quality store-bought can of passata di pomodoro.


During summer time I like to make a homemade one from fresh, juicy seasonal tomatoes.

Use it to prepare la Parmigiana or Chicken alla Sorrentina and, of course, Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup (Pappa al Pomodoro) can’t do without it.

To prepare homemade passata it best to use San Marzano or Roma tomatoes. They are simply a perfect match for this sauce.

But you can certainly make it with tomatoes that you have at your disposal.

If you have a choice give preference to those with thicker fresh and fewer seeds.

Did you know? San Marzano tomatoes have been designated as the ONLY tomatoes that can be used to make Vera Pizza Napoletana (True Neapolitan Pizza).

To reduce the time it takes to make passata with a classic food mill use a Food Strainer which also can be used for any other kind of sauce or juice. It speeds up the process considerably.

Want to take your passata to the next level?

Use fresh cherry or grape tomatoes for extra flavor and sweetness of your sauce.

Full Recipe

Homemade Tomato Passata Recipe

Homemade Tomato Passata with Fresh Basil

What can be better than cooking with a fresh homemade tomato sauce?
Made with only 2 ingredients this classic Italian tomato passata simply uses strained tomatoes infused with fragrant basil leaves to create perfect tomato sauce.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 8 oz jars


  • 4 lb fresh tomatoes
  • Handful fresh basil leaves


  • Wash tomatoes under cold running water.
  • Cut each tomato in quarters and remove seeds and juice.
  • Place tomato quarters into a large sauce pan and bring them boil on low heat. Stir from time to time, especially during fist few minutes when tomatoes didn’t release enough juice yet.
  • Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes soft and mushy.
  • Pass cooked tomatoes in batches through a food mill. Make sure to scrape the bottom to get all the juices.
    You can do this using a food strainer, electric or manual.
  • Pour tomato flesh and juice free of skin and seeds into a separate sauce pan and reduce it on medium heat until desired thickness.
  • At the end, add a handful or more of torn fresh basil leaves.
  • If you are preparing this tomato passata for winter:
    Sterilize the jars and the lids first.
    Pour in tomato passata leaving ¼ headspace and seal the jars.
    Sterilize sealed jars in a large pot with boiling water for 40 minutes. Make sure you place a dish towel at the pot bottom so that the glass jars don’t touch the pot bottom. Also pay attention to place each jar without touching another or the sides of the pot.
    Let cool completely turning the jars upside down.


If you noticed, there is no sugar added in the recipe. Natural acidity of the tomatoes helps preserve the sauce better. You can always add a tablespoon of sugar if needed when you start cooking with the sauce in the recipe.
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Post below any questions you might have.

Buon Appetito!

Recipe Rating

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