Sunday, September 21, 2014
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

.

News

Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

 
Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where is this going?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

 
Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Sports

DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

 
Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

 
‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
.

Business

UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

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

Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

Carol L. Walsh

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8