Decoding Tomato Sauces: Passata, Canned Tomatoes, Coulis, and More

Decoding Tomato Sauces: Passata, Canned Tomatoes, Coulis, and More

Tomato sauce is a versatile and essential ingredient in many cuisines around the world. From classic Italian pasta dishes to Mexican salsas, tomato-based sauces add depth, flavor, and acidity to a wide range of recipes. However, with so many different types of tomato sauces and ingredients available, it can be confusing to know which one to use for a particular dish. In this article, we'll decode some of the most common tomato sauces and ingredients, including passata, canned tomatoes, coulis, and more, to help you make the best choice for your cooking needs.


Passata is a type of tomato sauce that is made from strained tomatoes. It has a smooth texture and is often used as a base for pasta sauces, soups, and stews. Passata is typically made from ripe tomatoes that are cooked and then strained to remove the seeds and skins. It has a bright red color and a fresh, slightly tangy flavor. Passata is an excellent choice for dishes where you want a smooth, even consistency, such as marinara sauce or tomato soup.

➡️ Check out our organic passata reference from Alce Nero.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are a convenient and versatile option for making tomato sauce. They come in different forms, such as whole peeled tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and diced tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are harvested at the peak of ripeness and then canned, preserving their freshness and flavour. They are often used in recipes that require longer cooking times, such as slow-cooked stews, ragus, and chili. Whole peeled tomatoes are perfect for recipes where you want to maintain the integrity of the tomato, while crushed and diced tomatoes are great for creating a chunkier sauce with some texture.

➡️ Check out our organic canned tomatoes reference from Alishan.


Coulis is a French term that refers to a thick sauce made from pureed fruits or vegetables, including tomatoes. Tomato coulis is typically made by blending cooked tomatoes until smooth and then straining them to remove any seeds or skins. It has a silky texture and is often used as a base for soups, dressings, or as a drizzle over roasted vegetables. Coulis can be made from fresh or canned tomatoes, and it's an excellent option when you want a smooth sauce with a vibrant color and intense flavor.

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a concentrated tomato sauce that is made by cooking down tomatoes until they reduce to a thick, rich paste. It has a deep red color and a concentrated tomato flavor, making it ideal for adding depth and richness to sauces, stews, and braises. Tomato paste is typically used in small amounts due to its concentrated flavor, and it can be added directly to the pan or reconstituted with water before using.

➡️ Check out our organic tomato paste reference from Alishan.

Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is similar to tomato passata, but it is typically cooked longer to create a thicker consistency. It has a smooth texture and a rich, sweet flavor. Tomato puree is often used in recipes that require a thicker sauce, such as lasagna, vegan meatballs, or baked pasta dishes. It can also be used as a base for soups or stews when you want a more robust tomato flavor.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauces are usually made from tomatoes and seasoned with different spices and condiments. They are versatile and can be used as they are to speed up your cooking! 

➡️ Check out our organic tomato sauce reference from Alce Nero.

In conclusion, tomato sauces come in different forms, and choosing the right one will ensure the success of your recipe in terms of taste and texture. We hope this helps!

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