This is the beginning of many tomato posts to come in the next few weeks. Right now we’re handling Tomato Season 2013 so I’m constantly looking for new tomato ideas to both use our harvest, but also preserve so we can enjoy it until next summer!
A great way to use up lots of tomatoes you have is to make homemade tomato paste. Tomato paste is a great ingredient to have on hand to thicken up sauce and soups. Not to mention it’s a great base to make some yummy marinara sauce. I love this specific recipe because we are going to freeze them in ice cube trays which means you can use a little bit at a time. No more using one of those tomato paste cans that you only need 2 tablespoons for. By using ice cube tray size you use what you need, nothing goes to waste.
The best type of tomatoes for paste is roma or plum tomatoes (think elongated in shape) because they have the least amount of seeds. In this recipe, we don’t take the skin off or deseed the tomatoes, we just cut them in half. Tomato paste is super easy to make, it just takes a little patience until it’s done. It’s made by cooking the tomatoes on the stove for hours to the point of where you boil away all the liquid, causing a very concentrate form of tomatoes, which turns into “paste”. By the time the hours are over, you are going to have beautiful tomato paste.. and a house that smells wonderful! You will be hungry after smelling this on the stove.. 🙂 These cubes last a very long time, months. I could easily throw a cube in some tomato sauce in January that I make this week. I love these tomato paste cubes because when it’s snowing out and I reach for one, I get to remember the good garden days had months prior.. and that just makes me smile!
Homemade Tomato Paste
- 3-4 pounds of roma or plum tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic
- Slice tomatoes in half.
- Put tomatoes and garlic in food processor (in batches), pulse until smooth.
- Put your tomatoes in a pot, add salt and stir.
- Turn your stove on to medium high heat and bring the tomatoes to a boil.
- Turn your stove down to low medium heat to keep them at a constant low simmering boil.
- Cover and cook for 3 hours, stirring once in a while, until tomatoes turn into a paste and liquid is gone.
- Put your paste in ice cube trays and freeze.