Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tomato Paste

Homemade tomato paste is simply one of those finer pleasures of life. The CC hates to act all rhapsodic but give this a whirl. You'll thank me in February!

When the CC fries the tomato paste in winter, the entire house smells of tomatoes!

The CC prefers to use heirloom tomatoes (preferably federle.)

Photos of the process will be posted in a separate post.


12 lbs ripe summer tomatoes (quartered)
olive oil


The recipe is absurdly simple but takes a long time. You don't really have to do anything but you gotta stick around since you don't want your house to burn down.

Fry some olive oil in a pot. Toss in the tomatoes, and let them melt (covered) on a low heat for roughly 30 mins or so. Take a food mill, and pass the stuff through the finest sieve.

Put the strained stuff in a pot, and let it simmer on extremely low heat. This will probably take more than 6 hours or so, and no! you can't hurry the process.

You will have to skim it every hour or so. The oil will separate out rather cleanly because of the extremely low heat. (You can even just sop it up with a paper towel!)

By the end, the tomato paste will be very syrupy (caramelization is taking place,) and it will be a deep dark red.

Toss in quite a bit of salt. You need this to preserve it. You can tone down the salt in the recipe that uses the tomato paste later.

This stuff freezes beautifully, and should last a year.

No comments: