Tomato Paste Recipe
Italian Style

A Deep Rich Tomato Paste recipe is a basic must have in any Italian kitchen. It can create a layer of depth to your Italian pasta recipe and having some homemade fresh tomato paste on hand is so easy. All you need is a little time and an ice cube tray.

Making tomato paste is much more efficient then buying those little cans. Most of the time you open them up, use half and the other half sits in your refrigerator till you throw it's moldy remains away 3 months later and the taste of freshly made tomato paste is nothing to compare. Once you've had it fresh you'll be ruined and the canned tomato paste just won't do.

Tomato paste doesn't require a bunch of ingredients. I know you'll see recipes out there with basil and spices etc. That isn't the case for a true tomato paste. Tomato paste, is a condensed version of a pomodoro or reduced tomato sauce. It is reduced to bring out the intense flavors of the tomato. All you need is tomatoes, a tiny bit of olive oil and salt. THAT’S IT! Simple, fresh ingredients is the name of the game in Italian food.

Tomato Paste Recipe Ingredients:

  1. 3-5 lbs of Italian plum tomato (but any tomatoes will do) that are overly ripe.
  2. Or you can used two 15oz canned tomatoes. Italian plum or San Marzano
  3. 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  4. Course salt added after the tomato paste reduces
If you shop at a street market, and even in some grocery stores, they may have some overly ripe tomatoes that they offer for canning. These are PERFECT and are usually much less expensive per pound.

First step is to blanch, peel and seed the tomatoes. This technic is used for almost all tomato preparations when you are making a tomato sauce recipe.

Take the tomato and turn it stem side down. Cut a small X in the center, bottom of the tomato. Place the tomato, stem side down, into a pot and repeat with all the tomatoes. Fill the pot with water two to three inches from the bottom and bring to a boil. You only need to boil for a few minutes, just till the skin can peel away easily. One to two minutes should be plenty.

You can use a food mill or you can do it the Italian grandmother technique. Cut a small portion of the bottom of the tomato and squeeze out the seeds.

Now you can use a food processor and blend the meat of the tomato into puree. This should give you about three to five cups of tomato puree.

Tomato Paste puree in pot Tomato Paste puree simmering

Pour the tomato puree into a sauté pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and stirring every thirty minutes or so, just let it simmer. It's going to reduce. ALOT!

tomato paste puree reduced Tomato Paste in ice cube tray

It will take that three of four cups of tomato puree and reduce it down to ½ or ⅔ of a cup. That is the magic! A pure and intense batch of real tomato paste. Now is a great time to add your salt and your splash of olive oil.

Once your tomato paste recipe has cooled you can scoop it into an ice tray. Stick it in the freezer and you have the perfect portion size tomato paste cubes ready to go when you need them.

Tomato Paste frozen in ice cube tray

Yes, it takes a little extra time but it is SO worth it and you'll realize it when you use your homemade tomato paste recipe in your next Italian pasta dish.

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

Do you have a pasta recipe to share? Just like this tomato paste recipe I will post it right here on this site for a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe.

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