I had to. I had no choice. I saw red spots peeking at me from between the leaves of our tomato plants, and I had to take action. When I took a bucket out to my garden, I came back into my kitchen and took count: 97 tomatoes. Yikes! Large and ripe and juicy. Drastic measures were necessary!
I wanted to try soemthing new, not just the usual cutting up chunks and freezing them in zip lock bags, or last summer I made roasted tomato sauce for the freezer. Then, I saw this idea in Saveur magazine: make your own tomato paste.
So intriguing. I followed the directions they gave, but substituted soy sauce for the salt, in order to add umami as well as a salt element.
This is by far the most delicious tomato paste I have ever tasted. The olive oil and the soy sauce make this paste rich and so, so flavorful. But, I have to admit it is a lot of work, especially for about 1 1/2 cups of paste. If you have a massive amount of free or low-cost ripe tomatoes, I highly recommend making your own paste. And then cross making tomato paste off your culinary bucket list!
— posted by Donna
HOME MADE TOMATO PASTE
5 lbs. ripe tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
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 a fine mesh strainer, pushing as much of the pulp through the sieve as possible, leaving only 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.
Other food bloggers preserve their tomato bounty: