Store bought tomato paste is full of preservatives and additives that give it a long shelf life. You can easily make your own from fresh tomatoes or tinned tomatoes. Make a big batch and keep it in the fridge or freezer and give some away to a friend.
Tomato Paste from Fresh Tomatoes
Yields 2 cups
4kg ripe red tomatoes
½ cup olive oil plus 4 tablespoons
2 teaspoons salt
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes into 8ths.
- In a large pot, heat the oil on high heat
- Add the tomatoes to the pot and allow the mixture to come to the boil. Stir and cook until the tomatoes have softened for 10 minutes.
- Press the mixture through a sieve or food mill, to remove the seeds and get a smoother mixture. Alternately if you don’t mind the seeds and are happy to have a slightly chunky paste, just move onto the next step.
- Take a large flat baking dish that has a rim all the way around and rub with the additional 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the tomato mixture all over the tray.
- Bake for about 3 hours, turning the mixture over with a spatula or egg flipper every 20 minutse to half an hour. This process evaporates the water.
- Reduce the heat to 110 degrees Celcius and allow to cook for another half hour or so until the paste is thick and dark red.
- Keeps in in the fridge for 1 month or 6-8 months in the freezer.
Quick Tomato Paste from Tinned Tomatoes
3 x 400g cans of whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon salt
- Puree the tomatoes in a blender or food processor
- Add the tomatoes, olive oil and salt to a medium size pot and bring to the boil on medium-high heat. Cook for about 10-12 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning. The paste should be reduced to about 2/3 quantity.
- Yields 2 cups of tomato paste. As above, it should keep in the fridge for up to a month, and in the freezer for about 6-8 months.