Yes, I admit it. I have a love/hate relationship with tomato paste. It mostly has to do with waste.
You see those little cans of tomato paste are such an oddball size. Very seldom does a recipe read “use a whole can of tomato paste”.
Oh, no. It’s usually something like “use one or two tablespoons tomato paste”.
Well, what the heck do you want me to do with what’s left? Which is usually almost a whole can. I tried freezing it, but chipping a little bit of frozen paste away – bit by bit – it not my idea of culinary fun.
Why use paste to begin with if it’s so much trouble?
Well, tomato paste lends its own flavor to dishes – a slightly sweeter flavor and it acts as a thickener if you happen to make your sauce a little runny. It’s said tomato paste was created in Italy to preserved precious tomatoes year round and then, it spread across the Mediterranean to become a Mediterranean staple. So, tomatoes would be cooked and reduced until the concentrated paste resulted. One girl said when her mother was a child living in Greece her mother would be sent to the market to buy a tablespoon or two to carry back home. It was usually transported home dolloped on wax covered paper.
Well, recently I had discovered the wonders of tomato paste in a tube. Paste in a tube can be kept in the fridge a long time – several month and it’s doubly concentrated. My most recent discovery has been Hunt’s tomato paste in pouches. Each pouch contains two tablespoons and you purchase a box with six pouches.
Well, glory be…
Tall & Handsome picked a box up for me the other day at the store and I’ve already used one and half pouches. That other half pouch is in the freezer and will be so much easier to use!
If you haven’t started using paste in this manner, I highly recommend it. So much waste cut down and so convenient. And, of course you can keep a can or two on hand for those oddball recipes that call for a whole can.
For a little extra reading, check out this article on how to use tomato past the correct way.
© 2017 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.