Author Notes: A little hesitant to share this recipe because it most likely falls into the category of "Everyone knows this - what took you so long to figure it out?"
After canning tomato sauce and dehydrating tomatoes, there still remained about 15 pounds of tomatoes. And I then had a most unoriginal thought – make tomato paste! Off to Google-Land and read that in Sicily, Southern Italy and Malta reduced tomato sauce is put on wooden boards in the sun until it is thick enough to hold together. Well, I didn't have the sun and didn't want to buy wooden boards so why not use my dehydrator to make the tomato paste. How hard could that be? In practice I didn’t reduce the sauce enough and it took forever for not much yield. I am still cleaning up that mess.
I then decided to reduce the tomatoes on the stove for as long as it took to have paste. At least the house would smell good! And not being a lover of peeling tomatoes, I also used two simple steps which cut the prep time by hours.
The tomato paste I have is rich, dark brick red, divine and in the freezer waiting to be used.
Makes 6 to 8 cups
- 15 - 16 pounds tomatoes, preferably organic, of variety of your choice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, or more to taste
- 4 bay leaves
- kosher or sea salt to taste
- Cut tomatoes into quarters, cut out dark or bad spots and run through Vitamix of food processor. (I prefer my Vitamix because it is faster and held larger volume.)
- Run tomatoes through food mill, with small or medium screen and place in large stock-pot.
- If your knife skills are like mine, questionable, run garlic through food processor.
- In stock pot holding tomatoes, add garlic, olive oil and salt. Simmer, uncovered, until you have the consistency you want. (I simmered for about 12 hours.)
- Either cover and store in a glass jar in refrigerator, lasts for several months. Or freeze on parchment or wax paper on cookie sheet in about 2 tbsp amounts. When frozen place in plastic bag and use when needed
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Roast