Thursday, May 7, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Preserve tomatoes by making tomato paste

0911 tomato paste 1W

To begin cooking tomato paste, fill a stainless-steel pot that has a thick bottom with whole, peeled tomatoes. Crush lightly with a potato masher if you like. SHNS photo

By
From page A11 | September 11, 2013 |

By Aimee Blume

As September rolls on and your tomato plants go into their final fury of production, if you can or preserve, you might consider making tomato paste from some of that bounty.

Although canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauces are certainly delicious and just what you need for some recipes, there are benefits to making some paste as well. It’s not only easier, but the finished product has a greatly reduced volume and can be easily stored in the freezer.

There are varieties of tomatoes, such as Roma and San Marzano, that are developed specifically for cooking into paste and sauce. They are drier and have fewer seeds than normal slicing tomatoes. Use them if you have them, but regular tomatoes work fine, too. You just have to cook them a little longer to evaporate all that juice.

To make tomato paste, pick and peel your tomatoes. Then simply throw them, whole, into a large stainless-steel pot with a heavy bottom. You may remove the seeds if you wish, but it isn’t necessary. The pot must be stainless steel or enameled cast iron or the like — don’t use unfinished aluminum because it can react with the acidic sauce during the long cooking time. And the pan must have that heavy bottom. Tomatoes are sugary and are guaranteed to scorch on the bottom of a thin hot pot.

Once the tomatoes are in the pot, smash them up a bit with a potato masher, and add salt and seasonings of your choice. I like a sprinkle of allspice and nutmeg and a big pinch of white pepper. Don’t add too many spices and herbs, because the mixture will be reducing to 1/6th or less of its original volume and spices can easily get too strong.

Bring to a slow simmer and let it go. Stir occasionally and skim any froth that rises at the beginning of cooking.

Keep an eye on the tomatoes and keep the heat low, so they are barely bubbling. Check often to make sure that the tomatoes are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. That’s it. Let it go until it’s thick enough to mound like pudding in the pan. It might take 7 to 8 hours depending on the size of your pan and how may tomatoes you started with.

Let the paste cool. Can it in half-pint jars or simply place into small snack-size plastic storage bags and freeze them flat in the freezer. Once frozen, place them into larger freezer storage bags to keep them nice and airtight. When you need tomato paste, simply break a chunk off one of the “bricks” and return the rest to the freezer. The flavor is amazing, and if you’re making a thick sauce, you don’t have to wait for a more liquid product to reduce.
————
The recipe
Pasta alla Amatriciana

Making Pasta alla Amatriciana, a traditional Roman dish, provides a perfect opportunity to use your homemade tomato paste.

The ingredients:
1/3 pound thick-cut bacon or pancetta, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Big pinch red chili flake or more to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
Salt, if necessary, and pepper to taste
1/2 pound dry linguine
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese

Putting it together:
Heat a wide skillet and add the bacon, garlic, onion and red chili. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon and onion are lightly browned. Pour off excess fat.

Add the white wine to the skillet and reduce until syrupy. Add the chicken stock and reduce. Finally, add the tomato paste and taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and simmer while the pasta is cooking.

In the meantime, cook the pasta according to package directions in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain well and add to the sauce in the skillet with half the cheese. Toss well.

Place on serving dishes and garnish with the remaining cheese. Makes 2-3 servings.

Comments

comments

Scripps Howard News Service

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Whole Earth Festival honors ‘Rooted Living’

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Colleges move to expand services for immigrant students

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Internationally known musician Butterscotch brings it home for Whole Earth

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    May’s ArtAbout is a wheely big show

    By Sandy Thai | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Fourth of July concessionaires solicited

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

     
    Per Capita Davis: A shout-out to Cool Davis

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

    Learn all about bats on a Putah Creek night tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    U.S. gives farmers approval to spray crops from drones

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Concert aims to fund wheelchair-accessible van

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nesbitt speaks at Senior Health and Fitness Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Davis Bicycles! members always step up

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A4

    Don’t forget STEAC’s food drive Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sudwerk celebration marks debut of new mural

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Awards recognize work with special-needs students

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

    Independent study enrollment underway

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Tour de Cluck tickets on sale now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    The Davis I knew is gone …

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Recruit blacks for police jobs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Thank you, Davis pet community

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    The big problem with the new SAT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    UCD’s Vivolo is league’s top linkster

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Hot-shooting Aggie women open NCAA golf regionals

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD hoopsters honored for community outreach

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Tour of California to speed through Davis

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils end regular season with a bang

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie Nixon wins BW weekly award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Youth roundup: Diamonds rock Regionals in Long Beach

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Junior wrestlers and their coaches compete in Natomas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Aces double down on River Cats, 6-3

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    Young journalists have Birch Lane covered

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Rec Report: May is Water Safety Month

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B4

     
    DHS journalism students auctioning variety of services

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    SHED, a modern grange in Healdsburg

    By Ann Evans | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    A century of life, love and happiness

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    .

    Arts

    ‘The Art of Being an Aggie’ extended to May 22

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    The Show Ponies to perform at Davis Bike Collective

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Disco dance party set Sunday at I-House

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Choral concert to present ‘Songs of Peace’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Local boys return with band KALYDE for Whole Earth Fesitval

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    The question is: Is there craft beer?

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A9

     
    Winners of Student Writing Contest featured at Stories on Stage Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, May 7, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8