I can't imagine a day when KFC reveals Colonel Sander's finger-licking-good spice recipe or MacDonalds start selling their top secret Big Mac sauce in jars at Tesco's. But that's just what PizzaExpress have gone and done ! You can now buy the actual passata - that's the tomato sauce base that goes on the pizzas - that they use in their restaurants in the supermarket. That's fabulous news because we often make homemade pizzas here in The Madhouse - the girls love choosing their own ingredients and making their own totally personalised individual pizzas with a surprisingly healthy choice of ingredients - but you can just never get the same taste as shop-bought, let alone restaurant-standard, pizzas.
The actual product sounds incredibly simple so I don't know why it is so hard to reproduce at home. Pizza Express explain : "The delicious Passata was developed by PizzaExpress founder, Peter Boizot back in 1965 and the recipe has been secretly kept under wraps ever since…until now. It contains the highest quality Italian tomatoes which are sourced and harvested each season in Parma, Italy. Then, after these perfectly ripe tomatoes have been selected, they are crushed and canned within 12 hours of harvesting to ensure that the sweet flavour, colour and fresh taste are all preserved. Each can even includes a fresh basil leaf which has been added by hand for a perfect finishing touch. The Passata contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives – it is simply crushed tomatoes with a touch of salt, pepper and a fresh basil leaf."
It's no different in essence to the usual tomato puree that we use but it does seem to have an extra something that makes all the difference - I'm sure there's a special secret ingredient in there that they're not telling us about ! We had great fun making our traditional mouse-shaped pizzas but Pizza Express say that you can use their passata for a variety of recipes - pizza and pasta but also soups, casseroles and even a Bloody Mary cocktail ! I'll do a separate blogpost (here) with some of these recipes in so that you can try them out yourselves.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : 99p
available in selected Waitrose stores
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