August is prime season for canning tomatoes and this year’s Jersey plum tomatoes are outstanding! The Scordo family purchased about five bushels of locally grown plum tomatoes and canned only passato (passato is essentially pureed tomato, in the past we canned a combination of passato and whole tomatoes). As the site e-rcps.com points out:
Tomatoes are usually preserved in three different forms, each of which has its particular uses. First there are the ordinary tinned or bottled whole tomatoes, 1. pomodori pelati, which contain a high percentage of liquid and are best used for dishes that require a tomato base but need a long cooking time. Secondly there is the puree, 2. passato di pomodoro, which is a much thicker reduction of tomatoes, sometimes flavoured with celery, onion, carrot and basil, then called pomaruola or conserva. This is ideal for sauces which need a rich body of tomato. Thirdly there is the tomato concentrate, 3. concentrato di pomodoro, which is the tomato reduced to a very strong paste and flavour and is useful for colour and flavour in a dish where bulk tomato is not required.
The advantage to canning passato is that when it comes time to make tomato saucefor dinner or lunch, there is no need to food mill whole tomatoes!