Have you ever made your own tomato paste?
- sherrib Feb 26, 2012 07:51 PM
I would love to try this. Any great recipes and/or methods welcome.
Narsai David advised against trying this, because commercial tomato paste is cooked in an oxygen-free environment which cannot be duplicated at home.
You could certainly oven-roast sliced tomatoes until they are soft and jammy in texture and then put them through a food mill but I think you'd need to use or freeze them within a few days and the flavor would not be the same as canned paste.
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I can and freeze ~50lbs. of tomatoes from my garden every summer and do what I think of as tomato concentrate. I grow primarily paste-type tomatoes, so that's the start. I just give them a quick blanch to get the skins off, quarter and seed, and then cook down, pureeing at some point in the process. It's not gooey thick like commercial tomato paste, but it's super flavorful and just as useful. I freeze it in ~2oz. packages which take up very little room in the freezer and are perfect for when I need that little bit for depth of flavor. It can always be caramelized and cooked down more once it's in the pan, but IME trying to get a really thick commercial type paste in quantity at home doesn't work--it gets too bitter and black--see GH1618's comment.
I think the suggestion of drying the tomatoes first is great.
One of my favorite tricks for when I want a fresher, brighter tomato flavor but not so much liquid is draining. I'll blanch,seed and rough chop the fresh tomatoes and set them to drain. Then I reduce the drained liquid to almost nothing and then add the cut pieces back in to cook for a bit.
There's two ways that I've been thinking about doing it. And, after reading some of these comments, I'm figuring that I'm not going to be making a paste but, rather, a very concentrated, very simple, very thick tomato sauce. One way would be to put some chopped up tomatoes in a pot or slow cooker and let em cook and cook. At some point, I'll run them through my food mill (one of my most favorite gadgets) and then will either be done with it or will cook it down some more. Another is to cut them in half and roast them in the oven (probably a low temp for a long time) and then run them through the food mill. If they've roasted enough in the oven, they may not need any more reducing. If not, then I can reduce stove top. Now I'm thinking I would have to try it both ways and see how I like it ;)
I was trying to make this tomato sauce not long ago:
and before adding the wine, I got a very tomato-paste like consistency with really rich flavor. I liked it so much I made another couple of batches without the wine to freeze as paste. So, I would definitely recommend the roasting & food-mill method.
BTW, the roasting times in this recipe were way too long for me - instead of 2 hrs @325 + 30 min @400 I did 65-70 min @325 + 10-15 min @400, and had to keep an close watch at the higher temp or I would have had nothing but blackened tomatoes.