Homemade Tomato Paste and a Top 10

by Pamela

tomato paste, san marzano tomatoes, roma tomatoes, homemade tomato paste

As summer is coming to a screeching halt, the last vestiges of the garden barely resemble the younger versions of themselves from only a few months ago.  While this means it’s time to pull these last remaining squiggly vines and turn the dirt so that the winter kale, beets, onions and lettuce can be planted there’s still one more tantalizing thing to be made from these remains – tomato paste.  Okay, two more.  You can make some roasted tomatoes too.

I get it…tomato paste isn’t exactly a sexy ingredient.  Tomato paste isn’t the ingredient you tramp around with in the kitchen like bacon is no, tomato paste is more like that sure and steady ingredient that’s there for you when you need it in almost any kind of  cuisine.  It’s good for the long haul and you can take it home to meet your parents without them stroking out.  Tomato paste drives a Jeep Grand Cherokee and bacon rides a Ducati.

At the end of every tomato season, I make tomato paste.  It’s not that I have anything against canned or tubed tomato paste (I use those when my own stash is gone.), but I like making my own paste.  It uses up those end of season tomatoes that might not taste quite as bright as the earlier tomatoes did.  It’s also “green.”  That whole nose to tail thing also applies to things that don’t actually have a nose or tail.  Instead of letting these tomatoes go to waste or tossing them into the composter these little maters get turned into something yummy.

For the tomato paste, I use my San Marzano tomatoes.  These tomatoes taste so good you won’t believe it.  The San Marzano tomatoes are similar to Roma tomatoes but San Marzano’s have thicker flesh, fewer seeds and a stronger tomato flavor than Roma tomatoes.  Lots of chefs believe that the San Marzano tomatoes make the best sauce and even though I’m not a chef…I believe it too.

Relationship Advice

The people over at Men’s Health put together a list of the Top 10 signs that she’s interested in having sex with you.  Since they didn’t give any specifics…just a list, I thought I’d help clear up a couple of the things that might be confusing.  Cuz we wouldn’t want you guys to get any mixed signals (lol).

The list starts off with “she’s chatting up the bartender.”  Because everyone knows that when a woman chats up a bartender she’s on the prowl for you – you big sexy beast you.  It couldn’t be that she’s chatting up the bartender to get a drink….or a date with him.  If you use this as a cue that she wants to have sex with you at the end of the night, you’re only going to be having sex with your hand at the end of the night.

“She’s scanning the room.”  If she’s scanning the room when you see her it’s most likely she’s looking for her girlfriends or has seen you stalking her and is looking for a place to stand that would make her appear well protected by some bigger guy.  If she’s scanning the room while you’re talking to her, she’s trying to make eye contact with someone to help her escape your boring drivel and foul smelling breath.  This again is no positive signal that you’re getting lucky tonight.

“Her drink is big, frozen and blue.”  Cuz nothing says I’m easy and looking for a one time ride on your Ducati like a frozen blue drink (it is a fact that the blue tongued lizard is the horniest amphibian on the planet).  Oh wait…if said frozen drink is topped with an equally big swirl of whipped cream she’s giving you a subliminal hint that your man meat must be at least the circumference of the glass containing her frozen concoction – if it’s not, you’re going home alone.

“She uses her tongue.”  Well, I can see how you might be lead to believe that a woman who uses her tongue is looking to score with you, especially if she uses her tongue to say “let’s go have sex.”  But if she’s using her tongue to talk to you don’t jump to any conclusions that this means you’re getting in her pants especially if she’s asking you questions like: how old were you when you stopped wetting the bed, do you have a job, or do you still live with your mother?

I suggest that if you want to find out if a woman is interested in you, ask her.  Maybe not quite that directly, especially if you’ve never met before.  But how about trying to make small talk and asking her some questions.  Does she make eye contact with you?  Does she lean into you?  Does she touch you?  If she does these things, she’s into you.  I’m not making any claims that you’re going to get lucky with her that night, but you’ve got a far better chance if you do this and not follow the list of Top 10 bone head things you can do to make yourself look like an ass, that Men’s Health suggests.


Tomato Paste

Makes 12 – 16 Cubes – 2 Tablespoons Per Cube


  • 7 Dozen San Marzano Tomatoes (cleaned and diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt


Add diced tomatoes, lemon juice and salt to a large pot over medium high heat.

Occasionally stir the tomatoes as they cook.  Watch them closely because cooking times can vary a lot depending on how much water is in the tomatoes you are using.

Once the contents of the pot have been reduced by half (approximately 1 hour), turn the heat down to medium low.  Keep stirring occasionally.  There is a lot of sugar in tomatoes so you need to stir them and keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn.

Keep cooking the tomatoes down until their color is brick red.  I like to make my tomato paste extremely thick.  If you like yours to have a bit more water in it you can stop the cooking process anytime between the tomatoes being reduced by half to three quarters (approximately 2 hours).

At this point you have a couple of choices.  I used an immersion blender and blended the tomatoes, skins and seeds.  If you don’t want the skins and seeds in your tomato paste you can pour the cooked tomatoes into a sieve and press on it to remove the solids.

From here, spoon the tomato paste into ice cube trays (Each cube is 2 Tablespoons of paste) and freeze.

Once the tomato paste cubes are frozen, remove them from the trays and put them into a zip top bag and put back into the freezer until needed.


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Kim October 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Really? That’s all you need to make tomato paste?! Well, by golly… guess what I’m gonna do with my last ten pounds? 🙂 What a timely post? Well… not really. It’s a timely read. Because you created the post awhile ago. You know what I mean. OK, I’ll stop now.


sippitysup September 29, 2010 at 9:36 am

I am so glad your turned out. The plants you gave me never got enough sun in this wretched summer we had. GREG

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks September 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Great post and very functional. Next year, I’m add San Marzanos to the garden – I’ll have to research how well they’ll grow here in Colorado. FYI, I also bake off my cherry tomatoes for roasted “sundried” tomatoes.

pegasuslegend September 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm

i cant believe I have never seen these tomatoes your writing about so many have written on them…they must be fantastic! I use Angela M brand swear by them….I am not on the hunt for these tomatoes! We have made paste for years out of just the skins…this is amazing on this other method love it thanks for sharing no doubt am trying this asap!

marla {family fresh cooking} September 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I am very swooned by this tomato paste….not so much by the Top 10 Sex Signals. That part of my life is so over! Kids can do that to the sassiest of gals 🙂

Pamela September 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm

alas, I am no longer part of that world either. But I get a whole different perspective being on this side of it. And having lots of single friends I find myself playing analyst – A LOT. Wait til you see the ? I got from a reader next week.

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit September 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Wonderful little nuggets of flavor! Those look so good- I don’t have any San Marzano, but the Romas are still plentiful. Thanks for the great idea!

Pamela September 24, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Roma’s will work well too!

Roxan September 24, 2010 at 8:09 am

I’m so impressed, I don’t know anyone who’s made tomato paste before. It never even crossed my mind! Thanks for the info on making tomato paste, I’d like to try it sometime. It must make sauces so delicious.

Pamela September 24, 2010 at 12:54 pm

It really does add a fresh and deep flavor to your dishes.

Belinda @zomppa September 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm

I always make marinara but never tomato paste. Thanks!

Pamela September 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

You’re 1/2 way there with the marinara. Just keep cooking it down.

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