This is an open letter of thanks to whomever realized the potential of packaging tomato paste in toothpaste-like tubes with screw-on caps: Thank you—thank you—for preventing the crusting over of many tiny, half-empty cans of tomato paste, hastily covered in a scrap of plastic wrap and secured with a rubber band.
But since the toothpaste tubes can be harder to find, my pantry (and, I bet, yours too) still has a stash of the little cans. Here are a few ideas for using up any leftover tomato paste, to keep your fridge free of the crusty stragglers:
- Make pizza! And use your tomato paste, loosened with a bit of water and olive oil (and spiced to your liking) in place of tomato sauce.
- Or make a batch of roasted nuts that taste like pizza.
- Whisk some into the water or broth you're using to cook grains in.
- Whip a spoonful or two into homemade hummus, or go for spicy, white bean-based Kickass Dip (the name of which keeps its promise).
- Blend it with yogurt and spices (like za'atar and smoked paprika) and use as a marinade for chicken—or, if the yogurt is thick, as a dip for crudités.
- Take advantage of a rainy day and use the paste to add intensity to a fresh tomato soup. (Serve it with grilled cheese, of course.)
- Make a tomato-y vinaigrette by adding a dab of paste to your go-to recipe. Especially good on a corn salad. (Like this one!)
- Use it in a sweet and sour eggplant caponata.
We originally ran this story July 12, 2016. We're bringing it back in honor of Tomato Week!
How do you use up the second half of the can? Share your tips and ideas in the comments.