It's used in a variety of dishes, it can save you in a pinch when you don't know what to make for dinner, it can serve as a base for assorted meals, or simply add flavor to lots of dishes. It's tomato puree, and we at TLC think you'll find the recipe to be a valuable part of your cooking repertoire.
Tomato puree is different than tomato sauce or tomato paste -- it doesn't have lots of extra ingredients that are usually found in tomato sauce, and it isn't as thick as tomato paste. Although you can buy tomato puree in a store, the best and freshest tomato puree is homemade. What's more, it's a quick and easy food to prepare from scratch.
To make a batch of tomato puree, you'll need some ripe tomatoes. You can add sugar, salt, garlic, basil or other spices depending on your tastes and the dish you intend to make. Once you've gathered your ingredients, you'll be ready to prepare tomato puree. Read on to learn how.
Tomato Puree Preparation
Once you've gathered your ingredients, you're all set to make tomato puree. There are several ways to make it. Some people prefer to leave the skin on the tomatoes, while others favor peeling off the skin for a smoother consistency. In addition, some cooks prefer to deseed tomatoes while others leave the seeds in. Regardless of your preparation method, you'll want to be sure to cut the stem off your tomatoes and cross-cut the other side of the tomatoes -- this will help evenly cook the tomato and make the skin easier to peel off.
Once you've prepared your tomatoes, you have several options for cooking them:
- Boil -- Once the water reaches a rolling boil, add the tomatoes. Boil them for about 15 minutes.
- Roast -- Drizzle some olive oil over the tomatoes and roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for about two hours.
- Sauté -- Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté tomatoes for 15 minutes. You can add garlic or other spices to create depth of flavor. Don't let the tomatoes burn, but watch to make sure that all excess liquid evaporates.
Once you've cooked the tomatoes, run them through a fine sieve, food mill, blender or food processor to create a puree.
Now that your puree is finished, you'll need to prepare it for a meal or store it. We'll look at some tips on the next page.
Tips for Making Tomato Puree
Although tomato puree is a relatively easy food to prepare, these tips will make the food prep and storage process even simpler:
- Some cooks recommend boiling the puree and adding vinegar, salt or sugar for extra flavor.
- If you're roasting tomatoes, remember that the longer you roast them, the richer and thicker the flavor.
- Use ice cube trays to freeze tomato puree. Once frozen, you can take them out of the trays and store the cubes in plastic bags in your freezer. This way, you can use lots or just a few cubes depending on your dish.
- Don't refreeze a tomato puree.
- In a pinch at dinnertime? Tomato puree is a great base for lots of dishes. You can make a quick marinara sauce, tomato soup, curry or even a Bloody Mary from some tomato puree.
For lots more information on making tomato puree, visit the next page.
- "How to Make Tomato Puree." Vegetarian Cooking Recipes. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.vegetarian-cooking-recipes-tips.com/tomato-puree.html
- "Kitchen Dictionary: Tomato Puree." Food. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.food.com/library/tomato-puree-731
- "Making Passata di Pomodoro." Holiday in Marche. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.holidayinmarche.com/passata.html
- "Tomato Puree." Epicurean Table. 2003. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.epicureantable.com/recipes/S/sotomato.htm
- "Tomato Puree." Fine Cooking. July 8, 2010. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/tomato-puree.aspx
- "Turning Fresh Garden Vegetables into Gourmet Puree." Grow Tomato Sauce. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.grow-tomato-sauce.com/tomatopuree.html