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Winter is my favourite season and it brings carrots, strawberries, tomatoes, oranges and fresher veggies. Tomato paste is the best and most space-efficient way to store tomatoes.
Sometimes, curries need a tomato kick and tomato paste is just what you want for a quick fix. And it is so convenient and useful in pizza or pasta sauce or just like that on its own.
I'm sharing a small batch recipe of just 2 kg that will yield only 1 small jar of tomato paste about 250-300 ml, (depending upon the type of tomato.) So you may double the recipe if you use tomato paste more often.
Tomato release lycopene, an antioxidant upon cooking. This substance gives an intense tomato flavor upon slow cooking.
Various methods to make tomato paste:
Sun-dried tomato paste
In some countries like Calabria, tomato puree is sun-dried to make tomato paste at 38 C. The process takes 3-4 consecutive days. You need to spread tomato puree on a wooden slab or trays and let it sundry. Remember, to bring the trays inside at night to avoid moisture sitting on them.
Oven-dried tomato paste
You can also mimic the original drying process and dry tomato puree in baking tray in an oven for about 3 hours at 200 C. You'll have to stir all trays at intervals of twenty minutes. After the most liquid is dried collect all tomato puree from different trays to one tray and continue drying until tomato paste is thickened.
Tomato paste on the stove top
The recipe that I'm sharing is made on stovetop. It is super simple. Make tomato puree and continue to cook until the paste has thickened. The easy step-by-step will be definitely helpful, so let's dig in.
How to make it?
To make Tomato Puree
Roughly cut tomatoes in large chunks.
Blend all tomatoes.
Strain through a coarse strainer.
Now you have seedless, skinless smooth puree. Add sugar, salt and bay leaves.
Cook on high heat for 30 minutes with occasional stirring.
The puree is reduced to half.
When tomato puree has reduced a lot, cook further on medium flame with frequent stirring until it forms a paste.
The tomato paste is ready. See, there's no water on the sides of the paste. This is the sign that the paste is ready. Freeze the tomato paste in an ice-cube tray and then store it in a freezer bag.
More recipes to try:
Tomato Paste Recipe
- 2 kg tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
For tomato puree
- In a food processor liquidise tomatoes.
- Strain the liquid tomato through a coarse strainer to separate seeds and skin from raw tomato puree.
For tomato paste
- In thick bottomed and wide pan, take tomato puree, sugar salt and bay leaf. Cook on high heat for about 45 minutes.
- Cook further on medium flame for 20-30 minute with occasional stirring. Remove bay leaves and discard.
- When tomato puree is thickened to a paste like consistency cook on slow to medium heat until water doesn't separate from the sides of paste. (That's the sign of completion.)