Too Many Tomatoes-Sicilian Tomato Jam

Last week I made some cantaloupe jam based on a recipe I tasted in Sicily, outside Trapani. I went wild for the flavor. It was sweet, clean, fresh and complementary to freshly made ricotta. Imagine my surprise when my friend from the other side of the island ( near Catania) Milena send me a brochure with new recipes to try and there was Tomato Jam served on ricotta.

from Milena’s Tastannu-tastannu brochure she sent meĀ from the Province of Syracuse.


This should be of no surprise to Americans with our Jalapeno Jelly- yet it continues to surprise people. Last year Mark Bittman wrote about a Spanish inspired version with ginger and chili pepper, which he suggests served with tuna.

It is all about preserving foods and usually sugar, vinegar and spices are all involved.

This version is left as a sweet version, very similar to a strawberry jam, highlighted with lemon juice. I didn’t have any basil today which the recipe calls for, but will add some tomorrow when the shops reopen.


At this weeks Saturday market I found these tiny tomatoes which looked more like juicy grapes and decided they were the perfect size for what looked like small jewels when served. The recipe calls for the Pachino tomatoes, which are “IGP” ( the geographical production of these tomatoes is protected). So much of the food in Italy is intense in flavor. Terroir is so important. The soil and climate provide a precious gift. Respecting tradition is priceless when it comes to food.

one of the tomatoes on a piece of caciocavallo cheese

here is the recipe from the brochure:

Pacchino IGP Cherry Tomato Preserve

2 pounds peeled Pachino tomatoes,(smaller than San Marzano and sweeter)
1 pound granulated sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh basil

To peel tomatoes, cut cross in the bottom ( opposite from stem end) and put in a pot of boiling water until the skin of the tomatoes starts to pull away.

Remove tomatoes from water.

Peel tomatoes and put in pot with sugar. Mix well.

Cook to 106 C or 222F.

Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and the basil.

Keep covered in fridge.

The recipe I made I used 500 grams/1 lb of tomatoes and 250/1 cup of sugar.


  1. says

    Thanks to an over-abundance I’ve been oven drying my red and yellow cherry tomatoes. I don’t have access to the beautiful Italian tomatoes you’re using but thanks for the inspiration! I’ll try your jam recipe with my humble little garden variety!
    Amy Tobin

  2. says

    My mouth is watering just looking at that crostini. I’m returning to Sicily soon and will try making the jam with those sweet little pachini, along with putting them on pizza and making the sweetest spaghetti sauce ever. YUM! Thanks for the recipe.

  3. says

    I’m really thinking about this specific comment in your post:

    “So much of the food in Italy is intense in flavor. Terroir is so important. The soil and climate provide a precious gift. Respecting tradition is priceless when it comes to food.”

    You make an excellent point. Some things just can’t be replicated.

  4. says

    This looks and sounds wonderful. I am saving this recipe for when summer, and tomatoes, comes around in New Zealand. Any chance you will also be sharing the cantaloupe jam recipe?

  5. says

    yes- these were daterini… although the original recipe calls for pachini tomatoes- these were so sweet they just seemed perfect!

    are like little jewels!

  6. says

    I hope you will join me at for Crock Pot Wednesdays. The details for that and the Mister Linky are already posted. The first giveaway item has been announced and you can expect the additional ones over the next few days. The date of the first event is August 5. Thanks for sharing.

  7. says

    I will be trying this recipe this weekend! We have SOOOO many pomodori coming out of our farm garden it’s crazy – we’ve been jarring like mad! So we are need of some different jarring/jamming recipes – Grazie!

  8. says

    Ashley- did you make the jam? it is great with some chili in it too for other uses!

    Tiffany- I don’t know about agave- probably ok- but sugar tends to draw juices out of fruit as well, don’t know if syrup does that?

    google for other agave jam recipes!

  9. says

    Hi Judy: I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff! (P.S. You also know me as @hedonia)

  10. says

    My daughter will really love to it her breakfast and I know she always ask me that I have to make this for her breakfast also..I will try to do this recipes as soon as possible.

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