How To Make Homemade Tomato Paste

Here is a video showing you how to make Tomato Paste.

Tomato paste is a great way to add flavor to stews and sauces, and many home cooks have a stock of canned tomato paste hiding out in their pantry. You can easily make your own tomato paste instead of relying on the canned stuff, though. All you need are a few ingredients and plenty of time. Here’s what you need to do to make tomato paste using either the stove or the oven.


Makes about 1.5 cups (375 ml) paste

5 lbs (2250 g) tomatoes

1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

Salt, to taste

Things You’ll Need:

Kitchen knife

Cutting board

12-inch (30.5-cm) skillet

Food mill or strainer

Heat-resistant spatula

13-inch by 18-inch (33-cm by 46-cm) baking sheet

Food processor (optional)

Glass jars or ice cube trays (for storage)

Part 1 of 3: Preparing the Tomatoes:


1. Cut the tomatoes. Roughly chop the tomatoes with a sharp kitchen knife, cutting them into small pieces.

• Plum tomatoes work notably well for this recipe, but you can use just about any other variety of summer tomato desired. Smaller tomatoes generally have a sweeter, lighter taste and are not often used in tomato paste. Larger tomatoes have a richer taste. For the most complex flavor, use several varieties for your paste.

• The pieces of chopped tomatoes should be about as small as 1/2-inch (1.25-cm)


2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil to a 12-inch (30.5-cm) skillet and heat over high heat.

• For the best flavor, use extra-virgin olive oil. Other grades of olive oil also work well. If you do not have olive oil in your pantry, you may substitute canola oil or a flavorless vegetable oil.

• Let the oil heat for a few minutes before proceeding further.


3. Briefly cook the tomatoes with salt. Add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet. Season them with a little salt, to taste, and bring them to a boil. Cook until softened.

• Be aware that the tomatoes may splatter some when you add them or as you cook them. To reduce splatter, use a skillet with tall sides.

• Stir the tomatoes continually as you cook them.

• The tomatoes should become very soft. After they reach a boil, you should cook them for about 8 minutes or so.

• Remove from heat and let cool slightly once softened.

• The amount of salt you add really depends on your own sense of taste. As a guideline, though, add about 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt for every 5 plum tomatoes or 2 beefsteak tomatoes.

• For a more complex flavor, you could also add 3 cloves of peeled, smashed garlic and 2 bay leaves to the tomatoes as they soften.[1] Just make sure to use the tomato paste in recipes that complement the strong flavor of garlic.

• For a unique yet flavorful twist, you can skip the salt altogether and add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce, instead.[2]


4. Remove the seeds and skin. After the tomatoes have cooled slightly, pass them through a food mill. This should separate the skin and seeds from the usable tomato liquid and pulp.

• Use the finest plate of a food mill to ensure that all the seeds are sorted out.

• If you do not have a food mill, you can remove the skins and seeds separately. Remove the skins before softening the tomatoes in the skillet. After softening them, push the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

• An easy way to remove the skins before cooking the tomatoes is to drop each tomato in boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds. Quickly transfer the tomatoes to ice water to stop the cooking. At that point, the skins should be easy to peel away with your fingers.

• When this process is finished, you should have a thin tomato liquid.

Part 2 of 3: Stovetop Method:


1. Return the tomatoes to the skillet. Transfer the pulpy tomato liquid back into your 12-inch (30.5-cm) skillet.

• The bottom of the pan should only be covered by about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of tomatoes. If the level of tomatoes is much lower, the tomatoes are likely to burn. If the level is too much higher, the tomatoes will take a long time to reduce down into paste.

• If necessary, transfer the pulpy tomatoes into a smaller or larger pan so that the tomatoes are closer to 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. You do not need to do anything to prepare the new pan before adding the tomatoes to it.


2. Cook for several hours until thickened. Cook the tomatoes uncovered and on medium-low heat until they reduce down to a paste-like consistency.[4]

• Stir the tomatoes occasionally as they cook to prevent burning or sticking at the bottom of the pan.

• Leave the lid off so that steam and moisture can evaporate into the air. Otherwise, the tomatoes will not be able to reduce properly.

• You should be able to see steam coming off the tomatoes in the pan, but they should not boil or simmer. If you see bubbles beginning to surface, reduce the heat down to low.

• It can take 2 to 3 hours for the tomatoes to reduce down to paste.


3. Run the tomatoes through a food processor, if necessary. If the tomatoes are not breaking down evenly, puree them in a food processor or blender.

• This step should be done once the tomatoes reach a sauce-like consistency. Do not blend them while they are still liquidly, and do not wait until some of the tomatoes have reduced down into paste.

Part 3 of 3: Oven Method:


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by coating it with the remaining 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of olive oil.[5]

• Use a 13-inch by 18-inch (33-cm by 46-cm) baking sheet. Make sure that it has a rim; otherwise, the tomato puree with ooze out over the sides and onto the counter or inside the oven.

• If desired, you could also use a large Dutch oven. Leave the lid off as you bake the tomatoes, however.

• Olive oil works best, but canola oil or a flavorless vegetable oil can be used if you do not have olive oil stocked in your pantry.


2. Pour the puree into the baking sheet. Pour the briefly-cooked tomato puree over the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.

• Spread the puree with a spatula to even it out or gently shift the pan, shaking it side to side while keeping it flat on the counter.


3. Bake the puree for about 3 hours. Most of the water should evaporate and the surface should deepen in color.

• Use a spatula to turn the puree over on itself every half hour or so. If you do not do this, the tomatoes will not reduce evenly.

• At the end of this stage, the tomatoes should reach a thick sauce-like consistency.


4. Reduce the heat and continue baking. Turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (130 degrees Celsius). Continue cooking for an additional 20 to 25 minutes.

• By the end of this cooking stage, your tomatoes should reduce down to a thick paste. The color should also be that of a deep brick red.


5. Finished.


• Pour the tomato paste into ice cube trays and freeze for up to 6 months. Make sure that the ice cube tray is well-covered in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.

• Transfer homemade tomato paste to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one month. To make the paste last a month or two longer, cover it completely with a layer of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Thanks to wikihow for this recipe.

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