Wow! What a fun night we had at our recent homemade Passata Making course at the Reservoir store. You couldn't have asked for a more authentic workshop to learn the craft of preserving tomato sauce, and we know that our participants walked away inspired and will be planning their own backyard 'passata days'. Our passata making course was instructed by our very own Pina and Celeste. Pina and her family have been having annual passata days for over 20 years now. Celeste inspired and entertained the class with her funny stories and mouth-watering recipes.
At Home Make It, we have adopted Pina's method of preserving tomatoes and making passata, following the unrelenting protests that her families' method was the best! But we know that there are many different methods of making passata. You only have to ask any one of our customers and they'll tell you 'their method is the best'! Pina is passionate about her families' backyard food traditions. Whether we are talking about salami, pasta or pizzelle, she'll also tell you that her families' method is the best ;)
The course commenced with a run down of the different methods for making passata and the importance of sterilising the bottles and equipment. We were then shown the different options for equipment that can be used and available, including the manual and electric machines.
We pride ourselves on our workshops being 'hands on' and this passata course is no different. We put our participants to work straight away. Pina and Celeste had already sterilised all the bottles and equipment, and washed and dried the Roma tomatoes before we arrived, so our first job was to cut the tomatoes into quarters. We do this to cut out the flat stem, also to check that there are no rotten bits within the tomato, which could spoil the 'juice'.
Between the 8 of us, we got through preparing the large box of tomatoes pretty quickly. Our FLB machine with electric motor and sauce attachment was set up and we put them through our machine using a plunger. This process separates the skin and the pulp from the tomato juice. We followed on by putting the skins and pulp through a second time to extract the juice further, adding some juice with the skins and pulp to look after the machine. If the skins are too dry, this can cause stress on the machine's motor.
It was then time to bottle our tomato juice. We added a couple of fresh basil leaves to our already sterilised bottles. This is optional though. This job was made easier with our no spill bottle fillers which have been attached to our crates and buckets. We left a small space between the top of the bottle and the juice, to allow for the tomato juice to expand during the boiling process. We filled the bottles quickly and sealed them with a lid, careful to make sure the lid was on tight (but not over twisting, as this can also cause problems during the boiling process). You can largely avoid these problems however by using our lids.
All that was left to do then, was to carefully stack the bottles in our aluminum cooking pot, fill with water to the top and bring to the boil. It's useful to lay some cloth or toweling in the bottom of the pot and cover the top of the bottles to minimise the bottles rattling around during the boiling process. Once to the boil, the bottles or jars should be boiled for approximately two hours. This process sterilises the bottles and preserves the tomatoes. If stored in a cold dark area, these bottles will keep for years.
Your passata is then ready for use, to be the basis for any of your favorite pasta sauces, pizza sauces, casseroles or risottos. How you cook it up is up to you! I personally like to add a little garlic, chill and onion. It's an awesome base for spaghetti pescatora, or just as nice for a simple spaghetti Napoli. There are no limits to what you can do!
We ended the evening with a delicious pasta dish cooked for us by Celeste. We sat down to a massive bowl of pasta made with Pina's passata sauce from last year and Celeste's sugo recipe, a bottle of wine and some yummy pastries. What a feast! And what a delightful end to a great evening!
If you would like to see more photos from the evening, you can view them on our Facebook Page.
If you are interested in attending one of our homemade passata making courses, call our Reservoir Store on 9460 2777 or Clayton Store on 9574 8222 to find out more or register your interest.
Below is one of Celeste's recipes for making homemade fresh passata. Have fun!!
Tomato Passata/Sauce Recipe:
(Cooked Method - Ready to heat and serve)
-Chopped Onions (Amount depends on the quantity of the tomatoes you want to prepare)
-Fresh Basil, Oregano, or Thyme and Rosemary
-Chilli (flakes or fresh and optional). Amount used will depend on palate.
-Oil for sauteed method.
-Pancetta, bacon or salami (Optional)
-Place the tomatoes in a food grade tub (50lts to 100lts).
-Pour boiling water over the tomatoes. This will soften the skin making the juicing of the tomatoes easier and quicker.
-Using a slotted strainer or spoon, steadily scoop the soften tomatoes into the machine's hopper to be processed. The skin and pulp will be separated from the juice.
-Sauté the chopped onions, garlic, choice of herbs, pancetta and chilli in the oil until golden brown.
-Pour the processed tomato sauce in this sofritto (sauteed herbs and vegetable).
-Cook gently on low heat for at least 30 minutes.
-Keep this on a gentle simmer. Keep covered, stirring gently every 10 to 15 minutes. Total cooking time of 1 & 1/2 hours.
-For this part, some precautions should be taken for handling hot products.
-To sterilise the bottles, beer bottles or jars, place them in a hot 200 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Immediately place the jars on a tray whilst still hot.
-Ladle the hot sauce into the jars allowing a space for expansion. Shake the jars so no air pockets will be present in the sauce.
-Twist the cap on jars securely, but don't over twist.
-Turn the jars upside down, let stand in this position for 10 to 15 minutes, turn upright, and leave to cool. This process creates a vacuum in the jars and is very important.
-Store in a cool, dark place. Ready to heat and serve! Enjoy!!
*This passata/sauce can also be added to a variety of dishes.
by Lisa Baggio
Wow! Who knew? It's confirmed, Melbourne's Salami Army is growing! What an amazing turnout for the 2013 Melbourne Salami Festa. Melbourne turned on perfect Spring weather on the 15th September, 2013 as thousands of Melbournians headed down to the Northcote Town Hall to be part of history in the making. 63 homemade salamis were entered, 20,000 slices of salami were tasted, judged and voted on. And what an atmosphere it was! We boogied to the amazingly talented blend of jazz, swing and blues of The Shuffle Club. We were mesmerised by the hypnotic sounds of La Voce Della Luna with their renditions of tradition folk music. We enjoyed the culinary delights of porchetta rolls, and traditional pizza & pasta. And we enjoyed crisp Peroni Beer and Prosecco. What more could you want! But there was more! We were thoroughly entertained by the antics and charm of our very own Frank Bovezza and Steve Lamberto as they facilitated the homemade salami making demonstrations :)
You can check out the highlights from the day on our Facebook Page. Here's a sneak peak of some of the photos on our album.
On behalf of the team of Home Make It, I would like to congratulate the winners of the Judges Choice Awards for "Best Homemade Salami": 1st Place - Palermo Family 2nd Place - DeFazio Brothers 3rd Place - Saluministi
Our congratulations also to the winners of the People's Choice Awards, Frank and Anna Grossi.
We would also like to welcome all the new subscribers to our newsletter from the 2013 Melbourne Salami Festa. We look forward to keeping you up to date with all our news, events, specials, courses, and homemade recipes.
An finally, we would like to thank the Melbourne Salami Board
for sharing their passion for homemade salami with us. The Melbourne Salami Festa is an iconic community event that celebrates not only our much loved salami, but also slow food traditions and European culture. We are proud to be major sponsors of the event and look forward to watching it continue to grow in popularity.
Hot off of the press! We have just released our Spring Food and Beverage Courses. Our courses are fun, interactive and hands-0n workshops. Numbers are limited, so avoid disappointment by booking in early.
You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, specials, events and more. If you are into homemade preserves, then you may be interested in being a part of a community project that celebrates the heritage of making preserves and the strong link between food and cultural memory. For more information, please contact Anne Thoday on 0407 887 099 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Parts of the project will be exhibited at the 2014 Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival.
You can also shop anytime at our Online Store, with the security and ease of Paypal. Gift Cards are also available.
The trading hours for our Reservoir and Clayton stores are 9am until 5.00pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 1.00pm on Saturdays.
For our non Italian subscribers or those looking to travel to Italy anytime soon, here's a short educational lesson on Italians Without Words. Enjoy :)
Have a great weekend!
There's something really special about listening to Guy Grossi and his son, Carlo share their family tradition of making salumi. Passed down from one generation to the next, they are passionate about their family history, culture and traditional foods from their homeland. Carlo and Guy Grossi are the official patrons of this yearsMelbourne Salami Festa on the 15th September, 2013 at the Northcote Town Hall. It's getting close now and we're excited!
The Melbourne Salami Board and been working tirelessly to get ready for the event. You can pick up your copy of the Melbourne Salami Festa Booklet from our Reservoir and Clayton stores. The Board have promised "bigger and better" and I can assure you that they are creating just that! Bigger venue, live entertainment, a variety of traditional Italian foods, Salami Making Demonstrations, The Salami Market, Award Ceremony, Tastings and much more. Make your vote count this Septemeber! Come along and help determine Melbourne's "Best Homemade Salami".
Tickets for the Salami Festa are now also on sale. The Salami Board have talked to, and listened to many patrons from lasts years event and have created several tickets options for purchase. You can learn more about these options by following this link.
And if you are planning to enter your "winning" salami into this years Festa, then don't forget that entries for the competition close on the 7th September, 2013. You can follow the link for the Entry Form. There are three Award Categories and great prizes to be won, including a 100kg Free Range Berkshire pig worth $1000.00, donated by The Meat Room (0419 242 815). There's also heaps of other prizes donated by your team at Home Make It :)
September is shaping up to be a huge month in Melbourne, with Father's Day on the 1st September, the Federal Election on the 7th September, Melbourne Salami Festa on the 15th and AFL Grand Final on the last Saturday in September on the 28th! Am I kidding myself that the Blues may still have a finals shot???
If you are looking for something unique and special this year for Father's Day, swing by our Reservoir and Clayton stores to check some of our Father's Day Gift ideas that we have on display in our store windows. Here's a little sneak peek... As you can see, a sample of our Pizza Ovens and Charcoal BBQ grills have arrived in store. For our full range check out our Online Store, come in store for a catalogue, or contact Frank Bovezza directly on 0412 865 782 to visit our showroom.