Making tomato paste is simple. All we’re doing is making a basic tomato sauce by cooking a tomato purée and slowly reducing it further to make it more concentrated. We do that by evaporating out even more of the water. Wash and clan your tomatoes then cut them into two or three pieces. Transfer the tomatoes into a food processor to make a puree out of the tomatoes. You can do this into two or more steps depending with the number of tomatoes you have in order to avoid overloading the food processor. The next step is separating the juice from the pops, place a sifter over a big bowl then pour half of the tomato puree.
Using your clean hands, press, and squeeze the puree sort of the juice will be separated from the pulps which are the seeds of the tomatoes and the skin. Once all juice is separated from the pulps, transfer the tomato juice into a wide pan or pot and place it over medium heat to high flame and let it come to a boil. Stir the paste once in a while to prevent it from sticking in the pan. If you want a rich and thick tomato paste with a nice color make sure all the water is evaporated. Once all the water is evaporated and you have a solid paste, remove it from the heat then add salt and about 2 tablespoons of liquid oil and mix it well. Transfer the tomato paste onto a bowl or plate and let it cool down completely, once cooled transfer it to a jar then place it in the fridge.
- 10 pounds very ripe tomatoes
- 1 to 4 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise; if they are large, round, salad tomatoes, cut them into quarters.
- Remove the seeds with your fingers. Place all the tomatoes in an 8-quart stainless steel pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes release their juices.
- Boil briskly for 30 minutes until the tomatoes soften and the juices reduce.
- Pass the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with a fine disk to remove the skins and any remaining seeds.
- Return the tomato purée to the same pot and set over high heat.
- Stir in the salt, reduce the heat to medium-ish, and simmer until the purée has reduced to about 1 quart, 45 to 55 minutes.
- Turn the heat down as the purée thickens to prevent it from bubbling and splattering furiously, and stir often to prevent scorching.
- Lightly slick a 12-by-17-inch rimmed nonaluminum baking sheet with oil.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread the thick tomato purée in an even layer. It should cover the entire baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºF (93ºC) and turn on the convection fan if you have one.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir the purée with the rubber spatula so that it dries evenly and doesn’t form a crust.
- Re-spread the purée with the spatula into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.
- With a paper towel, remove any bits of tomato that cling to the edges or exposed bottom of the baking sheet, or they will burn.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue baking until the tomato purée is no longer saucelike but very thick, stiff, and a little sticky, about 3 more hours total.
- Every 20 minutes, stir and carefully re-spread the purée as before. The rectangle will become progressively smaller as the remaining water evaporates. Taste and, if desired, add more salt.
- Let the tomato paste cool to room temperature, then pack it tightly in a clean jar with a spoon, tamping it down to make sure there are no air pockets.
- Level the surface with the back of the spoon. Cover the surface completely with olive oil so that the paste is not exposed.
- Screw the lid on the jar and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for at least a year.