Prepared tomatoes: the ultimate winter ingredient

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Prepared tomatoes: the ultimate ingredient for your winter meals

With winter upon us, we find ourselves relying more and more on tomatoes to add flavour to stews, bakes and Italian pasta sauces, which is why it’s so fortunate that Woolies has such a great range of prepared varieties. Here are our favourites.

ITALIAN CHOPPED TOMATOES
What are they? This one is pretty self explanatory, but for the purpose of distinguishing it from the other tomato products on our list, chopped tomatoes are peeled and cooked and include the seeds.
How to use them? They’re great for making sauces with a coarse texture and work particularly well in something like spaghetti Bolognese or chilli con carne.
Try this: Spicy chicken livers on toast

PASSATA
What is it? This is an uncooked tomato purée that’s been strained to remove the tomatoes’ seeds and skins. It is more delicate and subtle in flavour than tomato purée.
How to use it? Its smooth texture makes passata an ideal ingredient for making soups and sauces. It’s also the key ingredient in traditional puttanesca pasta sauce.
Try this: Pork koftas with tomato relish

TOMATO PURÉE
What is it? A purée is made by cooking and straining tomatoes, thus removing their skins and seeds. Because it is cooked, the flavour of tomato purée is deeper and more intense than passata.
How to use it? It’s a great base ingredient for sauces – especially pasta sauces – where you want a full-bodied flavour, and also works well in curried dishes such as butter chicken, where a smooth sauce is desired.
Try this: Italian-style chicken

TOMATO PASTE
What is it? A thick paste made by cooking tomatoes for several hours until the liquid has considerably reduced, then passing the resulting paste through a sieve. The long cooking time results in an intensified tomato taste, packed with umami.
How to use it? Tomato paste adds extra depth to tomato-based sauces, stews and soups, and extra oomph to beef patties. It’s also an essential ingredient in the tomato sauce topping on pizzas.
Try this: Beef goulash

Annette Klinger Article by: Annette Klinger

Woolworths TASTE’s features writer maintains that almost any dish can be improved with butter and cream. She’s a stickler for comfort food, especially German treats that remind her of her late grandmother, such as pork schnitzel with sauerkraut and spätzlen. She is a voracious reader of food magazines and recipe books, and instinctively switches over to the cooking channel whenever she checks into a hotel or guesthouse.

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