I have a couple of hours spare to write this post while my sous chef has his nap! I’ve been busy playing with our new family member, Kojiro, that I sometimes get lost in play-mode instead of writing about the food I’ve created! Sorry everyone & thank you for your patience – I know I haven’t been posting as often as I should.
Making your own tomato paste is not only lots of fun but it really is quite easy! Buy a heap of fresh, juicy, ripe tomatoes from your fruit and veg grocer, farmers market, fresh produce markets or your supermarket, take them home, wash them, chop them, cook them and in a couple of hours you have your own homemade, preservative free tomato paste!
I know most of us don’t have the time during the week to mess around in the kitchen for that long, due to kids or work commitments. But if you have time over the weekend to try something new and delicious, you won’t be disappointed with the joy you’ll get from making your very own tomato paste.
And I’ll be honest, I don’t make tomato paste every month or two, I am known to buy tomato paste from the supermarket to restock the fridge if I need some quickly or don’t have time to make paste from scratch. But there’s nothing more satisfying than a great flavoured, homemade tomato paste.
Making tomato paste on the stovetop works perfectly, there’s no need to turn on your oven. I find making this paste on the stove top is easier to manage as I can see the cooking process. Having made this now a couple of times since April, I can honestly say it’s as easy as cooking a roast! Ok so you may have to watch it a little more closely to ensure the sauce doesn’t stick but it’s well worth it when you taste this tomato paste!
Wash the tomatoes in a large bowl or saucepan with a teaspoon of vinegar for at least half an hour. This helps remove the impurities from the tomatoes.
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Use the smallest flame on your stovetop. The cooking process should be slow and low to allow the excess moisture from the tomatoes to release gently.
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Always sterilise jars for 10-15 minutes prior to adding condiments and allow to cool.
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Use a stick blender to blitz your tomatoes into a puree.
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After blitzing the tomatoes, stir every 20 minutes to stop the sauce from burning or sticking to the bottom of the frypan. There’s nothing worse than burnt tomato paste!
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Once the tomato paste has been poured into the jar, place in a water bath and bring to a rapid simmer for 30 minutes.
COOK: 3 hours and 40 minutes, including boiling jars MAKES: 430grams
1.7kgs tomatoes, washed, cored and quartered
2-3 small garlic cloves, skins removed and smashed
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon sea salt flakes
In a large frypan on high heat, add all ingredients. Gently stir to combine and bring to the boil.
Turn heat to low and allow to gently simmer for 1 hour and 10 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally to stop the tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Sterilise the jar for your tomato paste.
Remove from the heat and take out the bay leaf. Allow the tomatoes to cool slightly before blitzing with your stick blender.
Return the frypan to the stove top on the lowest heat. Place lid on, slightly ajar, and cook for a further 2 hours, stirring at least every 20 minutes to stop from sticking to the bottom of the frypan.
You know your tomato paste is ready when you don’t see any water around the edge of the paste. The paste should be thick and stick to the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour the tomato paste into the sterilised jar and boil in a water bath for sterilising. Place a face washer, chux or small towel on the bottom of the saucepan to stop the jar from moving in the saucepan. Boil for 30 minutes.
Allow the jar of tomato paste to cool in the water bath. Remove and place in the fridge. Will keep, once opened for 4-6 weeks.
You now have your own tasty homemade, preservative and additive free tomato paste! Enjoy adding it to your Bolognese sauce, stews and soups or as the sauce for your pizza base.