Home made Tomato paste

Different colors are due to them being done in different times.

During the past two years, one thing i never needed to buy again was tomato paste.

Being Persian by origin and a lover of Italian food, tomato paste has been a vital part of daily recipes in our home. I used to stock my pantry up with the small cans of paste. But no more.

I do our own tomato paste at home now.

I do it at the end of summer when the tomatoes are ripe and sweet. They are also very inexpensive during that time of the year.

I usually buy them for 50 cents per pound from our local farmers market. I choose the so called "Seconds" that are uglier ones and less expensive. Nobody else would buy them, because well, they are "Seconds". I get as much organic tomatoes as i can get my hands on. But they are sometimes harder to come by in our market.

Here is a very simple and fast way of doing it.

1.Wash and clean the tomatoes.

2. Cut and discard the damaged parts.

3. Cut or chop them in pieces.

4. Place them in a large pot and cover.

5. Bring to boil for ten minutes.

6. Once cold, pass the content through a big sieve removing the seeds, skins and the tough parts.( I just dig in with my washed hands and squeeze the tomatoes)

7. Add some or no salt.

8. Blend the Tomatoes.

9. Pour the paste in the large pot and bring it to boil.

10. Boil and stir often till you get the desired consistency. To get a thicker paste and less elbow grease, you could pour it in a flat tray and place it in the oven for 1-2 hours on 250 degrees.

11. Pour in your sterilized jars and place the lids.

12. Wait to enjoy the pop sounds.

You could add olive oil, basil, more salt, peppers, lemon juice...

This paste has no preservative, is natural, inexpensive and fresh. Another benefit is that it does not create waste. It has become a fun project in our home. We do it once a year and it easily lasts us a year.

You could try it and start small. Chances are you would love it.

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