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Tomato Paste: What is it good for?

Can anyone seriously tell me what's the point of tomato paste?

Especially considering the fact that we already have tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes (the latter which is for some reason less popular ) on the shelves of all American grocery stores?

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  1. The paste is a concentrated form of the tomatoes you listed. Therefore, it does not add liquid to a dish, but it adds tomato flavor, to a degree. It mainly adds body and unctuousness to a dish. It also thickens a sauce. And can act as a binder. It definitely adds an umami quality

    1. I suppose you could get to tomato paste if you cooked a larger can of crushed/pureed tomatoes down long enough. Personally, when making dishes that only need a small amount of tomato, I'd rather buy a small, lightweight tube or can of paste than lug home a big can and spend time and energy boiling it down to the right thickness.

      1. I use it when making pasta sauce...add it to canned or chopped fresh tomatoes. As dirtywextraolives, it adds body and flavor.

        1. you can make pizza sauce out of it!
          also if you make things too watery (pasta sauce), you can add it because its concentrated.

          1. Just a small dab in a salad dressing adds an interestingly different flavor and texture.