Homemade Tomato Paste

Circle B Kitchen

A couple of tips... after the first hour of cooking, check every half hour as the edges tend to turn dark and burn rather quickly. Just give it a little stir every 30 minutes or so. Also, every now and then I open the oven door to let the steam escape which speeds the process along. It takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hours to fully create a good paste. I have used canned San Marzano tomatoes for this and they work just fine.

Makes about 12 to 14 oz of tomato paste

6-7 lbs of fresh, ripe tomatoes (in season, preferably), roughly chopped

3-4 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the chopped tomatoes, garlic, salt, sugar olive oil and bay leaves in a large dutch oven or stock pot and cook until the tomatoes are softened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Place a food mill over a large bowl. Transfer contents of pot, in batches, to the food mill and extract the tomato puree by turning the handle of the food mill several times in one direction and then several times in the other direction. Repeat, until all the skins and seeds have been removed from all the tomatoes.

Lightly oil a baking sheet pan with olive oil. Spread out tomato puree and place in oven. Cook for about 3 to 4 hours, checking every 30 minutes or so and stirring if the edges are starting to get dark. Cook until the puree has turned into a paste and is very thick. If the tomatoes are darkening too quickly, turn the oven temp down to 250 degrees.

Cool puree and place it in small glass jars. Top it off with a little olive oil and sea salt if you like. You can store this in the freezer for several months. When ready to use, remove to the refrigerator to thaw. It will last for several weeks in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can preserve your tomato paste using a pressure canner. The ph is not correct (not acid enough) for water bath canning.