Friday, October 5, 2012

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

UPDATE: I love roasted garlic, and recently found a link on CookNovel with not only a how-to (including how to roast individual cloves - WIN), but recipes for using the golden goodness too! Check them out and say hi:

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


  1. Hi Sarah!Nice to see you at Foodie Friends Friday! Thanks for sharing!

  2. OH, that sounds YUMMY! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party last week! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I hope that you'll join us this week to share more yummies! Also, be sure to stop back by to see who the winner of the Planet Rice will be! The winner will be announced at GFF #9 Cindy from

  3. Thank you so much for linking up at Gluten-Free Monday on

  4. Thank you, Sarah - glad to be able to be of assistance. I also use the oven when I make tomato sauce, and described the technique in a recent post. And like you, I use it for apple sauce and the likes (quince sauce, roasting italian plums before canning etc).

    Happy preserving


Thanks for the feedback!