This post shows you how to make tomato paste using fresh tomatoes. Simply stock up on tomatoes while they’re in season (or if you grow your own then bonus!) and whip up batches of this tomato paste to last through Winter.
Up until recently, tomato paste was something I’d never even thought to try to make at home. However, that was because I didn’t know just how easy it really is to make a massive batch to last you for months. Plus homemade is always better and just so super delicious in comparison to its store-bought counterparts. Especially considering you can choose exactly which tomatoes you’d like to add to the paste for different flavor profiles.
Tomato paste is one of my most-used kitchen preserves. I use it to add flavor to bland dishes, soups, stocks, sauces, homemade pizzas, pasta dishes, etc.
You might be put off by the fact that making this homemade tomato paste, it’s an hours-long process. However, in reality, the actual amount of time you have to actively do anything is about 15 minutes. The rest of the time is simply leaving the tomatoes to reduce.
How to Store Your Homemade Tomato Paste
Within this recipe, I’ve shown you a way to keep it jarred and fresh by covering the top of the paste in olive oil to ward off any mold. This way they can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 months.
However, it’s worth noting you can also dole this paste out into smaller portions, such as with an ice-cube tray, and freeze. These can then be kept for around 8 months (I’ve always run out before then so it’s hard to give you an exact time frame).
Because I tend to freeze the majority of my batches and then keep a single jar out to use per month, I’ve not done a lot of experimentation in terms of other preservation methods. However, if you have any suggestions then please let me know in the comments below and I’ll give them a try!
How to make your homemade tomato paste
As I previously mentioned, the process of making tomato paste is long but fairly low-effort and super simple.
First of all, select the tomatoes that you want to use. Depending on which you choose can affect the yield of paste you have at the end so experimentation can be key to finding your perfect flavor/yield balance.
Next, you juice the tomatoes.
Then run the mixture through a sieve to get rid of any remaining lumpy bits (for a truly smooth paste).
You then simply place the tomato juice into a pan on low heat and leave, leave, leave to reduce! Stirring every twenty minutes or so.
Remove from the five when you are happy with the consistency.
Keep in an airtight jar.
If you give this handy how-to for homemade tomato paste, let me know what you think in the comments below. And, as always, I’d love to see your creations so feel free to tag me @Alphafoodie.
- Wash the tomatoes and get rid of the green stems. Then juice the tomatoes (this would yield about 3.5 Litres) *
- Sieve the tomato juice into a large saucepan, to get rid of any remaining lumpy bits
- Over a low and steady heat begin to reduce the tomato juice mix, stirring every about 20 minutes until you reduce all the water (this process will take several hours) but you can leave them and do other things. When the paste is thick you can switch off the heat, add the salt and leave it to cool down completely.
- Place them in a airtight glass jar and top it with the olive oil (thick layer) to make sure it covers the surface to protect the paste (this will seal it and prevent the formation of any mould). Place in the fridge for 3-4 months **