Tomato Paste

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Overview
This is an intense flavour bomb. I decided to make this when I saw some cheap tomatoes at the market – I would prefer to use Romas, but went with something half the price. I’ve bought a heap of food-grade 200ml plastic jars, so most of the paste has been popped in these for freezing (This made 7 jars with enough leftover for some pizzas). This way, I can always have one on hand in the fridge and just replace them as needed!

Use as a pizza sauce, in sauces, as a quick pasta sauce (or base for one), soups, stews…

Time
Baking time is 4-5 hours. Leave overnight to cool before blitzing.

Ingredients
3kg fresh tomatoes, roughly cut into 1-1½cm slices
2 bulbs of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
1-2 TB umami salt
½-¾ cup balsamic vinegar reduction
½ cup dark brown sugar
2-3 TB Italian herb mix
2-3 TB pepper steak seasoning
6 dried bird’s eye chillis

Equipment
Thermomix or stick blender

Method
Preheat oven to 120° C

1 – Line 2 baking trays with decent edges (these ooze a lot during baking) with Glad Bake and foil folded up at the edges to help contain liquid

2 – Mix all ingredients in a bowl (do this in batches – estimate quantities – a sprinkle of the herbs, drizzle of vinegar etc) then add to the baking trays. Fill 2 trays.

3 – Bake slowly, stirring every 30-60 minutes until richly caramelised. The tomatoes will release a lot of liquid; keep it all together and consolidate into a single tray once the volume has reduced.

4 – Leave to cool in the oven, this is fine to do overnight.

5 – Blitz the tomatoes to make a paste. Freeze excess in large ice cube trays or plastic bottles.