RECIPE: Tomato Sauce/Paste

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hello! I'm back with another healthy recipe to share! I am sure most of the time you want to prepare spaghetti or tomato soup, you would buy those in cans and bottles at your local supermarket. Do you know that those products actually have a lot of preservatives added to them especially ascorbic acid? In the long run, these artificial preservatives and flavouring will worsen your health. Canned tomato sauce also have a very high amount of sodium in it which can cause hypertension!

Today, I will be sharing a recipe on making your own homemade healthy tomato paste with no added preservatives, flavouring or colouring. It is super easy to do and you just have to spend a small amount of time to get a healthier version of tomato sauce.

Firstly, purchase some tomatoes from your local grocery or market. Get those which are orange-reddish in colour. Try to get those which are not too soft. Next make sure you wash your tomatoes well and get rid of any pesticide on the tomatoes. You don't want to be consuming those chemicals.


Wash your tomatoes

Next, I am going to share with you a great tip on removing the tomato skin. You can opt to retain the tomato skin but you won't get a smooth paste if you do not remove the skin. To remove the skin, make a small cross section at the bottom of the tomato as shown in the photo below.

Make cross cut section


Next, place the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water and blanch the tomatoes for around 10 seconds. Don't over blanch your tomatoes as they will turn mushy very fast! You can also opt to pour hot water over your tomatoes :)
Blanch in hot water for roughly 10 - 15 secs

Quickly put your hot tomatoes into a bowl of cold water. I used room temperature water and it worked just fine. You will be able to see the skin around the area of the cross section to be slightly loose and wrinkly :)



Immediately put in cold water

And.. tada! You can easily peel off your tomato skins! It will just slide off the tomato and you will get your tomatoes in round perfect shapes :) Don't waste the tomato skin. You can actually use it as a facial mask. Just place the sheets of tomato skin on your clean face to refresh your skin.


Tada! Peel off the skin

For this next step, you can do it two ways. The first way is to roast your garlic with salt, pepper and olive oil in your oven until it turns soft while the second way is to just pan fry your garlic. I chose to oven roast them as I can use the excess oil from the garlic as a dipping oil for breads and for other recipes :) As we are using olive oil to roast the garlic, you can use the garlic oil to prepare garlic bread instead of using butter. This is a healthier alternative to prepare garlic bread ^__^


Roast garlic (skin attached) with salt, pepper and olive oil
Basso Olive Oil


After your garlic has roasted in your oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, you can take them out and *please be careful in this step* remove the skin. They should easily slide out from their skins.
Remove skin

Prepare your peeled tomatoes as well by cutting them into smaller pieces and removing the seeds. I left mine intact because I did not want to waste them but do note if you do not remove the inner seeds of the tomatoes you will not get such a smooth texture as the seeds do not dissolve.


Cut tomato into four
The next steps are very simple! Saute some onions and the roasted garlic in a pot. You should actually use those big yellow onions and not like the ones I used. I realised I did not have the correct onions halfway preparing the ingredients. Anyway, both onions work fine but the yellow onions will give a sweeter flavour to your tomato paste.


Onions

After saute-ing your onions and garlic, pour in your cut tomatoes and cook them until soft. After the tomatoes are cooked through, you can use a hand blended and blend the tomato mixture into a smooth paste. If you do not have a hand blender, you can pour your cooked tomatoes in a food processor and process it until it is of the consistency you want. Pour it back into the pot and throw in half a carrot. Want to know why we put in half a carrot? This is to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes and give your sauce a sweeter taste.

You would then get a pot of tomato sauce like shown in my photo below. I know it is not the same colour of the tomato sauce that you buy from the supermarket but hold your horses! The recipe is not done yet. You need to continue to cook the sauce for roughly 2 to 3 hours until it turns to a darker reddish colour and has a thicker consistency. The consistency of the sauce now is more of a thick tomato soup. You can either serve this as a delicious tomato soup or continue to cook it down to around half the amount to be used as a tomato paste.



And there you have it. Your very own homemade tomato paste. Store your tomato paste in the freezer after it has cooled down if you want to keep it for a longer period or just use it to cook pasta or pizza the next day!

I actually made Borscht soup with my tomato paste last weekend for the family. You just need to have some vegetable stock, stredded cabbage, onions and carrots. Boil them until soft and add your tomato paste to your preferred taste. And there you have it a simple soup that is comforting and delicious to eat just by its own or with a warm toasty bread! You can use the garlic olive oil as a dip for your bread too ^__^

Simple enough? Try out this healthy version of tomato paste and you no longer have to buy those canned tomatoes from the hypermarket anymore! No more seasonings, artificial flavouring, colouring and high sodium content! Suitable to be used for tomato soup, pasta sauces, pizzas and others. Feel free to give me any comments for this recipe ^__^


Love, Miriam

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