Tomato paste is indispensable in any kitchen. You can use it in soups and stews, casseroles and roasts and as a base for pasta and pizza sauces. There’s really little reason to purchase pre-made tomato paste with all of its unwanted additives (such as high fructose corn syrup and added salt) when it’s so simple to make it yourself. The recipe I use is from the bible of home preserving Stocking Up III and the only “special” equipment you’ll need are an 8 quart stockpot and a food mill. This is a Saturday project– the tomato paste will have to thicken over several hours, so it’s a good day to be in the kitchen doing other things, like you’re weekly baking or putting up other preserves. This recipe makes one and a half pints of paste.
15 pounds of tomatoes
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1.) Peel the tomatoes by dropping them into a pot of boiling water for a minute. Let them cool to the touch, then rub off their skins.
2.) Chop the tomatoes, then bring them to a boil in the stockpot. Cook uncovered for one hour.
3.) Put tomatoes through the food mill, discarding seeds and any remaining skin. Put the tomatoes and juice back into the stockpot, and bring to a boil. Boil until the pulp is thick and stays on a spoon (about six hours). Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
4.) Stir in the vinegar, and remove from heat.
5.) When the tomatoes are cool, spoon them into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, transfer the cubes to an airtight freezer container.