5 recipes to make with passata (aka quarantine sauce)

25 Mar 2020

Whether you’ve got kids to feed or are fending for yourself, in these strange times it’s nice to find comfort in home cooked basics. For many of us that means tomato passata sauce.


If you can’t get your hands on a pre-made jar of tomato sugo, the good news is it’s super simple (and even more delicious) to make your own red sauce. Chop up a bunch of onion and garlic, fry it with some olive oil until translucent. Cut plenty of tomatoes in half and squeeze the seeds out. Throw them in and cook it all down with salt, pepper and maybe a bayleaf or two and some dried oregano or thyme. Throw in chili flakes if you’re feeling fancy. Half an hour later – ta da, your passata is done.


Now that your quarantine sauce is ready to rock ‘n’ roll, here’s five recipes we love that use this sauce as a base or starting point.


Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

Naturally the number one use for passata sauce is mixing it with pasta. Keep it super simple and toss al dente spaghetti through your red sauce and top with parmesan and fresh basil. Done! Step it up by cracking a tin of tuna, olives or anchovies through the sauce, or make a batch of meatballs, fry them up and pour over your passata. Buon appetito!



Turn up the spice with chilli

Easy, cheap and filling – whipping up a big batch of chilli beans or mince with beans is a great way to feed a family or make a bulk meal you can freeze portions of. With only a handful of ingredients to start with, you can power up the rich flavour of your chilli by swapping the plain canned tomatoes for an intense tomato passata.



Shakshuka baked eggs

Breakfast, lunch or dinner? It doesn’t matter. Cooking homestyle shakshuka is simple and wholesome. Woolworths has a great recipe to follow if you want to keep it traditional, or you can get creative with what’s in the crisper or last night’s leftovers. Just chop and cook vegetables of your choice in a big fry pan (with a lid) along with the tomato sugo. Dig a few holes with your spoon, crack the eggs in and drop the lid on. When ready, top with feta and herbs. Et voila!



Chicken parmy

Upgrade this pub classic with homemade passata. Woolies have a great recipe hack for cheap and cheerful Friday nights (especially good when you don’t feel like cooking). Simply bake pre-crumbed frozen schnittys as the base and then load each chicken schnitzel with toppings and return to the oven. That said, it’s not too hard to flour, egg and crumb your own or keep it leaner with a crumb-free baked chicken breast with just the sauce and cheese.



Tomato soup

You won’t reach for the tinned soup again once you realise how easy it is to make real, rustic soup – even with this hack. Make a cheat’s tomato soup by watering down your quarantine sauce with either stock or stock cubes and boiling water. You can then add alphabet pasta to fill it out or pair it with a toasted cheese sandwich – the ultimate comfort food. Add a swirl of basil pesto for a fancy twist.