When your garden is overflowing with ripe tomatoes, it is the perfect time to make homemade tomato paste. This tomato paste recipe has only three ingredients and there are two options for storing. Once you know how to make it, store-bought will no longer be an option for you.
Homemade Tomato Paste
If you are at the end of your fresh tomato supply and you have canned, juiced, dried and enjoyed tomatoes until you can’t look at another tomato…WAIT! I have one more. Yes, it can be done. Just like anything that is quality, it takes time and love.
Tomato Paste Ingredients:
- Tomatoes: any variety but Roma tomatoes are preferred because they have a lower moisture content. Lower moisture = less time until you get to tomato paste!
- Olive oil: just a drizzle
- Bay leaves: 1 per two pounds of tomatoes
Here are fresh bay leaves. Dry is fine if that is all you have.
This is my baby bay leaf plant. I have always wanted to know where bay leaves come from. Turns out it is a plant like this. I wasn’t sure if it was a tree or a bush or leaves.
Recipes that use tomato paste:
Why is a food mill used to make tomato paste?
The food mill makes easy work of removing the seeds and the skins of the tomatoes. It is so much easier than blanching the skins off of the tomatoes and removing the seeds by hand. I never get all the seeds out when I try and remove them by hand. The food mill is well worth the investment.
What is the difference between tomato puree and tomato paste?
The difference is consistency and moisture content. Tomato puree has a thicker consistency than a tomato juice and a deeper flavor whereas tomato paste has almost all of the moisture removed by cooking it out.
What is the purpose of tomato paste?
Tomato paste is used to thicken, color, and enhance the flavor of tomato sauces and other liquids such as soups and stews without adding extra volume to the dish. Tomato paste is usually found added to Italian dishes but many other recipes benefit from the addition of tomato paste to include bolognese, pizza casserole, and even sous vide beef burgundy. If you have an overabundance of tomatoes you will want to learn to can diced tomatoes as well.
How to freeze homemade tomato paste in portions
- Using my silicone brownie squares baking mold I pipped the tomato paste into each square.
- If you don’t have a pastry bag you can always snip the corner off of a resealable plastic bag. I think a gallon bag would work well in this example.
- If you need ANOTHER option, you can always just spoon the paste into each cavity. I was going for ‘neat’ so I used the pastry bag.
- Once done, pop them in the freezer until frozen through.
- Flip them over and they easily pop right out. I love silicone bakeware for applications like this one.
- Store in an airtight container in the freezer and you have proportioned tomato paste. I am calling each square a tablespoon.
How to portion out tomato paste without a mold.
- If you don’t have the silicone brownie squares baking mold there is still YET ANOTHER method of storing.
- Pipe or dab out little 1 tablespoon blobs on a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
- Freeze till solid and then store in an airtight container in the freezer.
So there is yet ANOTHER way to use up the end of season tomatoes. Make your own tomato paste!
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*This recipe was originally posted on Sept. 23, 2103
- 8 pounds roma tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 each Bay leaf
How To Make Tomato Paste:
- Wash and chop your tomatoes.
- In a hot pan drizzle a little bit of olive oil. I did about an tablespoon
- Add your tomatoes and cook until soft.
- Pass the soft tomatoes through a food mill.
- Once you have a tomato pulp and puree, return it to the stove and add 1 bay leaf per 2 pounds of tomatoes.
- Cook on medium high to big heat to reduce the tomatoes down to the above consistency. Be sure to stir and scrape down the edges and the bottom of the pot. The longer the tomatoes reduce into paste, the lower you should turn down the temperature.
- Portion into 4 ounce canning jars and water bath can or freeze in ice cube trays.
Canning Tomato Paste Instructions
- Portioned out the tomato paste into 4 oz canning jars. I don't use tomato paste THAT often and in larger portions than 4 ounces so the smallest jars were perfect for this exercise. Be sure to tap (or bang) the jars on the table to get as many air bubbles out of the jars as possible.
- Leave 1/4 inch head space on the top.
- Process in a hot water bath for 40 minutes. That is right. 40 minutes. These guys may be small but the contents in them are dense.
How to freeze home made tomato paste in portions
- Using my silicone brownie squares baking mold I pipped the tomato paste into each square. If you don't have a pastry bag you can always snip the corner off of a resealable plastic bag. I think a gallon bag would work well in this example.
- If you need ANOTHER option, you can alway just spoon the tomato paste into each cavity. I was going for 'neat' so I used the pastry bag.
- Once done, pop them in the freezer until frozen through.
- Flip them over and they easily pop right out. I love silicone bake ware for applications like this one.
- Store in an air tight container in the freezer and you have proportioned tomato paste. I am calling each square a tablespoon of tomato paste.
The approximate eight pounds of tomatoes I started with took just over 3 hours to reduce to the above consistency.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 223Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 11gSugar: 24gProtein: 8g
Nutritional facts are just estimates. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates.
Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 11 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.