How Do I Deal with ALL These Tomatoes! Tomato Paste!

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

I love tomatoes and I love cooking with tomato sauces. I have over fifty tomato plants out in the garden and there is varying degrees of success with them. Some are proving delectable to the local fauna and so I am losing my big Ace tomatoes. The Cherry's are larger than you get in the supermarket and are blushing up a beautiful pink red. The Romas are prolific as usual. All of them are heirloom and I've used organic growing practices, so I will be saving seeds from all of them.

The beginning of the season, I only had a few fruits so I cut out the bad parts, insect bites, small places of decay and tossed the good parts in a zip lock freezer bag and into the chill chest to freeze. I repeated this daily until I got a big bag full saved up. Then, I tossed those frozen tomatoes directly into a big spaghetti pot along with a half a cup of water or so and put it on medium high heat on the stove.

After it heats up a little, I turn the heat down to low and simmer the tomatoes for a while until they are thawed and softened like this:

I'll take a potato masher and mash up all those tomatoes and the skins and seeds start to come off and separate by themselves at this point.

When all the big chunks are broken up, it will look like this:

Now it's time to get all those skins and seeds out of the pulp. I use a pot style strainer for this but they used a cone style strainer with a stand back in the day - I have one but this one is so much better. It clips to the top of the catch bowl like this:

I just ladle the hot tomatoes into the strainer a couple of scoops at a time and just turn the handle. I'll feed the left over pulp that includes only skins and seeds to my chickens as a treat.

After I've processed all of the tomatoes, I return the juice to the big pot and back on the stove it goes. I turn it to low and let it simmer.

At this point, you want to stir it and check it frequently as it thickens quickly. When it's thick enough, let it cool down off the heat.

When it's cooled, jar it up and put it in the fridge. It's good for about three days, or you can freeze it or can it. If you want to can it, don't make it quite so thick.

A seed or two may have escaped and made it into the sauce, but no worries. If you leave a lot of seeds in, it might make a bitter sauce. I don't add anything at all, not even salt to my sauce. I can always add it later when I make dinner. This sauce became the base for my Meatball Sandwiches last night! So Good!

So, just collect up your tomatoes in the freezer until you get enough for a batch!

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