Roasted Garlic Tomato Paste ('Taste of Italy' Concentrate)

I love tomatoes. Any kind, any form, chances are I'm more than willing to take a bite or two. But every year at the end of the season, even I get sated with tomato goodness. I could have 3 or 4 a day every day, and would barely make a dent in the late season harvest.

Thankfully tomatoes take very well to the preserving process. Over the Summer I managed to jar batch upon batch of sauce, roasted tomatoes, chutney and jam (recipes coming), as well as drying a good amount of them for Winter use. But I was running out of jars - and patience to can. Turning to good ol' Google for help, I came across two blog posts that gave me the "aha" moment I needed - tomato paste! I figured that making it would be a long day of standing over the stove, possibly leading to burned tomatoes and an impossible to clean pot, but then I figured (and sylvie from Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener confirmed) that if I could make apple and peach butter in the oven, chances were I could do tomato paste in there too!

I knew I'd want something more than just tomatoes in my paste, though, since I was planning to use it for at least one batch of sauce. So, inspired by Francis Lam's ingredient list on her "The Bomb Tomato Concentrate" post, I added an onion, some basil and a whole whackload of garlic to the puree. I also added some citric acid powder since I'd be canning it (I used 1/2-cup jars), but that was it. Over the 4-5 hours it cooked down (it's easy but not fast!), the garlic and onion became sweet, rich sub-notes to that deep, complex tomato flavour you can only get from a long, slow roast, and I don't know if I can ever go back to the canned stuff now!

Submitted to Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Wellness Weekends, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Gluten Free Mondays and Gluten-Free Fridays

Roasted Garlic Tomato Paste ('Taste of Italy' Concentrate)
Makes roughly 1 cup (16 tbsp servings)
1 tbsp olive oil
18 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1 sweet onion, chopped fine
3 lbs plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried basil 
1/4 tsp citric acid or 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 275F.
  2. In a deep, non-stick pan, heat the oil.
  3. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Scrape into a food processor with the tomatoes and salt and puree smooth.
  5. Run through a food mill, discarding seeds and skins.
  6. Pour pulp into a baking dish (I used a 9" square) and stir in the basil.
  7. Place in the oven and bake 3 - 4 hours, or until very thick, dark and pasty. Stir every hour or so to prevent burning.
  8. Stir in the citric acid.
  9. Allow to cool before placing into a plastic or glass container and storing in the fridge or freezer.
  10. This will keep in the fridge about 1 week, frozen up to 6 months. If canning, process in a hot water bath for 45 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 33.9
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 8.5 mg
Total Carbs: 5.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 1.0 g
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