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Homemade Tomato Paste

Discussion in 'Tomatoes' started by dougmays, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. dougmays

    dougmays Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    So I've checked the searches and it doesn't seem like someone has posted up about making there own Tomato paste. I'm interested to try this out and have read a bunch about it online.

    It seems like the basic method is

    - Chop

    - cook to soften

    - de-seed and de-skin and strain

    - cook down

    For the cook down method it seem like most people lay on baking sheet and base in oven and occasionally flip and stir, but you can also just continue to cook down in a large pot. Does anyone have a preference? The Pot seems easier for stirring and flipping but Baking Sheet seems more efficient.

    It looks like San Marzano or Plum Tomatos are best, is that true?

    Has anyone tried Green Tomato paste?

    Any other tips or tricks that would help me out?

  2. Hello dougmays.  [​IMG]   [​IMG]
  3. dougmays

    dougmays Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Trying to find this out also? :)
  4. Hello.  Since moving to England I have had to learn to make several things.  I can't find Ranch dressing unless I pay what amounts to $7.00 for an 8oz. bottle to ship it here.  Brings tears to your eyes.  Some things I just can't get.  I had not thought of tomato paste ( which I can buy ) but gotta be better than anything out of a can.  Hope someone can help out.

  5. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I saw this done on one of the PBS Create channel cooking shows, but I couldn't find it when I looked at their web page. I don't remember which of the chefs did it. Might have been Lydia Bastianich, Jacques Pepin, Nick Stellino . . . I just don't remember.
  6. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    I use an uncovered enamel  turkey roasting pan in the oven set at around 200 -220 degrees so it won't burn. prop the door open a little to help evaporation. (I use a large metal spoon) you won't have to stir too often and it takes a looong time. One of my sauce and paste tricks is to just cut up all tomatoes and place in large roasting pans (non-reactive) and put in a 300 degree oven for a couple of hours to cook down. Throw the onion, garlic, and herbs right in with them so they cook down too. When they are cooked down there will be a lot of juice in with them. I strain that juice off before I run them thru the juicer attachment on my kitchenaid mixer. DO NOT THROW OUT THE WATER YOU STRAINED OFF!!! (more on that later). Once you have the tomato meat ground up you should have a perfect sauce consistency, and can just bring it up to a canning temp and jar it up and process, or freeze in bags (your preference). For Paste just dump it back in the roaster and slow roast in the oven at 200-220 till you get the consistency you want stirring every now and then, it won't scorch like it will on the stove. Remember that water you strained off? I put that in a roaster pan in the oven at 180-200 with the door cracked a little and go to bed. If I have 4" of liquid in the pan, I will have about 1" of concentrated tomatoey goodness in the morning! You can reduce it as much as you want and boy is the flavor intense! I save that for all sorts of stuff where I want the intense flavor (Soups, Chili's, Pasta sauces), and I even put it in my next batch of tomato sauce to intensify the flavor without watering down the sauce.

  7. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    A simple and very common method of making tomato paste in Italy follows:


    5 lbs. plum tomatoes
    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp.
    Kosher salt, to taste


    1. Heat oven to 300° . Roughly chop tomatoes. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a 12" skillet over high heat. Add tomatoes and season lightly with salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until very soft, about 8 minutes.

    2. Pass the tomatoes through the finest plate of a food mill, pushing as much of the pulp through the sieve as possible, leaving the seeds behind.

    3. Rub a rimmed 13" x 18" baking sheet with remaining 2 tbsp. of oil; spread tomato purée evenly over sheet. Bake, using a spatula to turn the purée over on itself occasionally, until most of the water evaporates and the surface darkens, about 3 hours. Reduce heat to 250°; cook until thick and brick colored, 20–25 minutes.

    4. Store sealed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month, or freeze, wrapped well in plastic wrap, for up to 6 months.
    webowabo likes this.
  8. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks dls, good info.  Are there any additional spices you might suggest?

  9. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit

    Some fresh thyme.. oregano.. or garlic.. etc sounds great while cooking down in the skillet... but would a fresh tomato paste with flavors be to much in a dish.. once its mixed with the other ingredients? I guess make a basic tomato sauce and use the flavored paste .. the slow cook of the paste would hold the flavors still enough right?
  10. I switched to this method long ago because I got tired of processing tomatoes in a super-hot late summer kitchen.

    Zero-heat tomato water and conserva.

    Wash tomatoes thoroughly (preferably a well flavored roma-type, like Martino's Roma or Opalka, but any tomato will work.)
    Place tomatoes on sheet pan and freeze solid.
    Remove tomatoes from freezer and run under a slow steady stream of cold water individually, the skins will very easily rub off.
    Very coarsely chop the semi-frozen tomatoes (3/4" sized pieces) and place in a cheesecloth or muslim lined colander overnight or until they stop draining. The resulting tomato water will be quite clear.
    Run the tomato remains through a food mill to remove the seeds. This is a snap because the freezing does a very good job of breaking down the tomato flesh. The resulting conserva should be thick enough so that a wooden spoon will stand up in it.
    I then freeze the conserva or further process it.

    This requires some planning ahead, but it produces some very nice tomato water and excellent conserva without a lot of fuss or heat!!!

    The easiest way to reduce it even further if you wish is to spread the conserva thin, say a half an inch thick, on sheet pans in a very slow oven....stir every 15-20 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.


    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  11. dougmays

    dougmays Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Wow some great recipes on here! Thanks!

    Martin i'll have to dry the no heat method...i like how easy it makes removing skins. I was thinking of putting fresh basil and dill in with tomatoes to give it extra flavor.

    nobody has tried this with Green tomatoes have they?
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mom made tomato puree, sauce, paste all the same day. First blanch and skin the tomato in boiling water ( X the tomato tip) the skin will slide off easily after a min's blanch. Core the tomato, the cut in half, remove all the seeds by squeezing or with a spoon. Its easy.

    Then you can can 'em fresh, processor makes puree, cooked and reduced puree made sauce and baked low and slow sauce equally paste.  Sauce and paste get messy and require some extreme patience like a butt cooked without foil.

    At any point you can add veggies to the mix like onions bell peppers mushrooms, etc. or herbs and spices. But unflavored is the most versatile.

    I do believe she did add some oil to make paste, she always added either sugar or lemon juice to each jar depending upon the year.

    At the sauce and paste stages, a high sided pot is preferable or some young spry friend wanting to learn to clean the stove!

    BTW it wasn't as thick as store bought, but it tasted better. The neighbor did hers with smoked tomatoes once too.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  13. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    Tom - Using the process described I would not add any spices or herbs. What you're making is a pure paste which can the be stored for use as an ingredient in dishes such as sauces, soups, stews. etc. That's when you would add appropriates spice or herbs. The 5 lbs. of tomatoes you start with results in around 8 oz. of a highly concentrated and intense paste.

    In a sense, the process is a modern day way of mimicking what Italians in the South, especially Sicily, have been doing forever when the prepare what is known as Estratto di Pomodoro. Estratto translates to "extract" or "excerpt", which is what is accomplished with the moisture in the tomatoes. The traditional process calls for the puree to spread in a thin layer on large wooden boards and placed outside to dry in the sun. The boards are brought inside during the night and covered with muslin. The process is repeated daily, and depending on the concentration and intensity desired, the process can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days. Throughout the day the paste is spread around with a spatula or, as the elderly nonnas do, with their oil covered hands. Once finished, the Estratta is put into clay pots or jars, covered with a bit of olive oil, and stored for future use.

    The traditional process has not died out entirely, especially in the smaller towns and villages of Sicily where, following the late summer harvest, it's not uncommon to see the paste covered boards out on the streets, lanes, and sidewalks. The photo below (not mine) should give you a better idea of what I'm referring to.

  14. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  15. andrew nill

    andrew nill Newbie

    That's the most detailed and right recipe for making homemade tomato paste. I often try the same method to use my own planted tomatoes in my backyard garden and it really taste well rather then

    buying from the marketing.
  16. dougmays

    dougmays Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Cant wait to try this myself! Thanks everyone!