To make the tomato purée recipe in FC #106, you’ll need a tool to strain and separate the tomato pulp from the skins and seeds. A food mill does this well enough, but we especially love this Italian tomato press for how easily and speedily it gets the job done. With a food mill, you have to stop frequently to clean out the skins and seeds. The tomato press is designed to spit them out as you work. You load your tomatoes into the large hopper on top and turn the crank. Tomato purée pours from one chute, while the seeds and skins fall from another chute—no stopping required, except to empty the catch bowls as they quickly fill up.
There are several brands of tomato presses available, but we’re partial to this red plastic model from Rigamonti with its sturdy suction-cup base, nearly effortless crank action, and ease of assembly (once you get the hang of it). Cleaning is a little tedious—it must be handwashed—but the time you save on milling your tomatoes (or other soft vegetables and fruits) makes up for it.