Mar 12, 2010
After making this oh-so-super-easy homemade tomato paste you are never going to buy any ever again. Even if you don’t grow your own tomatoes all you need to do is go to the market and buy a box of over-ripe tomatoes and some locally grown garlic and you are set for the most amazing smell to waft throughout your house.
I use this tomato paste as a flavouring in soups and casseroles and stews – yes its fantastic for that. But also its perfect for pizza, for dips and even sandwiches. Use it anywhere you need a tomato tapenade or extra burst of flavour.
Make a few jars of this and stash them in your fridge – they make cooking a whole heap quicker – for a bonus … here is a Jamie Oliver one-pot chicken dish that is my go-to dinner when I can’t think of anything else. This is a slight variation on Jamie’s dish – as it uses my tomato paste instead of fresh herbs and garlic.
Quick tomato and chicken one-pot dinner:
Take a few chicken thighs (depending on how many you are feeding) and chop them into large chunks, fry them in your oven safe casserole dish with some olive oil. Meanwhile peel and boil a few potatoes (one per person as a rough guide) – drain the almost cooked potatoes and toss them in with the browned chicken. Take it off the stove and add a few spoonfuls of your homemade tomato paste (with garlic), and then add in a few roughly chopped fresh tomatoes, a pinch of salt and another splash of olive oil. Bake in a medium oven for 20 minutes. Serve with a fresh salad. (if you don’t have any homemade tomato paste then you will need a handful of fresh herbs such as thyme and oregano and some chopped garlic gloves)
But here is my recipe for my homemade tomato paste…
You will need as many overripe tomatoes as you can get a hold of – cut them in half and lay them open side up on a baking tray. Splash or spray good olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then peel a few garlic cloves and throw them in with the tomatoes (I used our homegrown garlic here) – use local garlic without all those terrible chemicals sprayed all over them. Bake in a medium/slow oven for about an hour. You want the tomatoes to have shrunken and browned a little but not be too dark.
Take your roasted tomatoes and garlic and put them into your food processor – if you don’t have one you can use a stick blender, pestle and morter or even a potato masher – and blend until you have a lovely paste. Now you can add a few different flavours – its up to you – some ideas include: anchovies in oil (just a couple), salted capers (rinse the salt off first), pitted marinated olives, roasted capsicum (adds sweetness), roasted chillies (add a bit of spiciness), or even roasted eggplant (adds a smoky flavour), also add some more olive oil.
Put your paste into clean jars that you have sterilised with boiling water, and pour a layer of olive oil over the top. Seal with your lids and label. The jars will keep in the fridge for about a month like this. Alternatively this freezes very well too – so if you do have a huge glut of tomatoes in your veggie patch why not make enough paste for the rest of the year!