Huge can of tomato paste
I find myself in possession of a huge can of tomato paste (not chopped or whole tomatoes) which once I open i'm going to have to use up. I don't have much freezer room so I'm looking for ideas that i can ideally can or jar and will last a while in the cupboard.
Will lots of paste work in place of whole tomatoes in a slow- cook recipe such as ragu or chutney or is there something else I could try?
There's always room in the freezer - get some sealable smaller plastic bags, put a cup or so in each & stuff it where they will fit. The unfrozen paste will conform to the space.
If you got the canning equipment, you can re-can the paste into smaller portions. Should be acidic enough to can.
I always freeze tomato paste for beef stews and other tomato sauces. It's very forgiving- I have refrozen it in the can when I thawed out too much but probably shouldn't tell you to do that.
Actually, what I've done with smaller cans when I haven't needed to use the whole can is scoop out separated "blobs" with a tablespoon onto a sheet of wax paper. Loosely fold the sheet with the folds being between the "blobs" (so that it's more compact and not a large, wide sheet) and toss in the freezer. The next day, unfold it, peel off the blobs and put them into a baggy and keep them in a freezer.
Since it's been separated into tablespoon-sized portions, later on you can simply count out how many you may need for a dish later on, instead of having to defrost an entire amount you may not need..
Thanks but I REALLY don't have much freezer space and the can is about 3kg. Even if I do freeze portions I still have to come up with creative ways of using it. So I'm really looking for ideas I can use the past in bulk for and not get bored - just had an idea for tomato fudge (crazy??)
You CAN use it as the only tomato product in a spaghetti sauce, homemade ketchup, tomato soup, chili, and the like. All those will take up a lot of refrigerator space, though. I think the idea of re-canning in a hot water bath has merit. If you are not prepared to do that, divvy the paste up into containers or baggies that you can fill completely, and store it in the fridge that way, so keep it from drying out or possibly developing mold - I am not sure if paste gets moldy or not. Acidic as it is, it should last quite some time.