There’s no need to buy tomato paste in a can, you can easily make homemade tomato paste that is healthy and delicious, especially if you use fresh locally-grown organic tomatoes.
Tomato paste is a great cooking staple to have on hand, for it can be used in so many dishes. I like to make a large batch and place the paste in the smallest canning jars I can find.
Using tomato paste from a glass jar is very different tasting from tomato paste out of a tin can.
Since there are only two ingredients involved; tomatoes and salt, this sauce is very simple to make. However; it does require a watchful eye and a little bit of time to allow the tomatoes to reduce to a thick paste.
It’s well worth the time spent and great for a weekend project.
1. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. Score a small “X” on the bottom and top of each tomato. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water until skins start to peel. Drop them in an ice water bath. The tomato skins should easily peel off with a paring knife.
2. Remove the core and seeds. Chop the tomato flesh. Aim for 4-5 liters of chopped tomatoes. For each liter of tomatoes, add ½ teaspoon of salt. Place in a large pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring often to allow the tomatoes to break down.
3. Run tomatoes through a fine sieve or a food mill to eliminate any large pieces. Return the tomatoes to the large pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, or until paste is very thick and holds its’ shape.
4. Place tomato paste in hot sterilized ¼-cup canning jars. Add approximately 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to each jar to coat the top of the paste. Allow for ¼ inch headspace. Seal with sterilized lids and bands. Process for in a canner for 15 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool completely (24 hours) before checking for a proper seal.
Placing this tomato paste in smaller jars allows you to always have fresh tomato paste to use in your recipes. Remember the secret to a delicious paste is the fresh ripe tomatoes you start with. Enjoy!
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