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Home Cooking

Uses for tomato paste you rarely hear of

kappydell | Dec 31, 201809:48 AM     4

I went searching on the internet for tomato paste recipes. Not recipes to make it - not recipes using it as a seasoning (as in tomato sauces), but recipes using that whole 6-oz can. I was hoping for some new ones, but I could not even find any mention of the ones I already have. I have peasant gourmet tastes, and although canned tomato paste is a little pebian for some, for me (and my minimalist budget) it is a lifesaver with multiple uses and a lot of bang for the buck. So for others among us who have a teensy budget to work with, here are my favorites (so far). As always, the quality of the tomato paste used makes a difference in taste. Anybody got some new ideas?

TOMATO JUICE (makes one quart)
one 6-oz can tomato paste
1 tsp (more or less to taste) of sugar or chosen sweetener - I use sugar, I'm cheap and it is too
1/2 tsp salt or chosen substitute (more or less to taste)
3 1/4 c water
Put tomato paste in a large bowl, blend in the water gradually for fewer lumps. In a pinch you can just dump it in but you will need to shake or stir very vigorously. A blender is easiest) Stir in sugar and salt; let mixture age in refrigerator at least 4 hours to chill very well. I like to add a shot of Worcestershire sauce and a little celery salt for a V-8 vibe.

TOMATO SAUCE FROM PASTE (long version)
one 6 oz can tomato paste
1 TB cornstarch
1 TB salt
1 tsp sugar
2 ½ c water
herbs to taste from the following:
1 TB parsley (dry)
1 TB dried onion
1 TB dry or minced green pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp thyme
`1/4 tsp sage
¼ tsp basil
¼ tsp marjoram
Combine tomato paste and water in a saucepan, stir until smooth. (It helps to put the water in a little at a time while you stir.) Add cornstarch, salt, sugar and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch. When cornstarch is all dissolved, then put the saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until thickened and smooth. This makes a plain sauce. Add chopped, sautéed vegetables, sliced mushrooms, olives and cooked broken up hamburger for a chunky sauce. (This also works if you substitute 2 TB flour instead of the cornstarch.) Makes 3 cups sauce for $1.50 total; for 8 servings it costs 18 cents. (prices are from 2015, I priced it out for inclusion in a low budget cookbook I was compiling as a wedding gift. It costs a little more now, but is still cheap.)

TOMATO SAUCE FROM PASTE #2 (quick version using pantry staples)
6 oz tomato paste (house brand 40 cents)
2 c cold water
1 tsp Italian seasoning (3 cents)
¼ tsp garlic powder (1 cent)
1 tsp sugar (1 cent)
2 TB flour (2 cents)
¼ tsp onion powder (1 cent)
Put paste into a saucepan and slowly whisk in 1 ½ cups cold water until smooth. This will take a bit of whisking, so take your time. Separately (in a closed jar) shake flour and remaining ½ c water until smooth (a fast way to blend without lumps). Blend flour mixture into tomato mixture, stir in remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat while stirring. When it thickens and bubbles, simmer about 1 minute. Makes 3 cups. Total price 48 cents; per cup sauce 16 cents!

TOMATO SOUP FROM PASTE (makes 4 cups)
6 oz tomato paste (40 cents)
1 tsp salt (1 cent)
1 tsp celery seed (5 cents)
4 tomato paste cans of milk (67 cents)
Whisk milk into paste until smooth. Season heat over medium heat until warm, but do not boil. Total recipe $1.13 or 28 cents
per cup. I like this with a dash of taco seasoning & a sprinkle of cheese on top.

TOMATO PASTE CATSUP (12 oz)
6 oz can tomato paste
2 TB vinegar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/3 c water
pinch cloves
pinch allspice
pinch cayenne
1/4 c brown sugar
Mix, chill overnight to blend flavors. To reduce sugar, omit brown sugar and add 1 tsp molasses and 1/4 c splenda. This has a nice balance of sugar to vinegar.

Most folks I know ask why bother to make this stuff when you can buy it. Just try to find a reduced sodium and/or low sugar version of any of these without making it yourself! My room mate can't handle spices in many commercial version - we enjoy tweaked versions all day long. Not to mention they are inexpensive since they are made from pantry staples that you buy on sale and keep on hand.

And of course, my quest remains....Does anybody have any new tomato paste recipes that use the whole can? Its one staple I am NEVER without.

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