For those who love tomato-based dishes, the chances are that you would have a tomato paste in the kitchen. Some of the common dishes that would need tomato paste include stews, sauces, and soups.
You can find it a bit frustrating to find that you do not have enough amount of the tomato paste for the recipe. So, what would you substitute for the tomato paste in such a case?
It should not be a problem to find a tomato paste substitute in your kitchen. The list below gives you an insight on some of the substitutes you could use for your recipe in place of a tomato paste.
1. Tomato Sauce
Since the tomato paste comes from the tomatoes, then some of the closest substitutes would be tomato products such as the tomato sauce. The question is, how are going to make the sauce turn into a paste?
Start by emptying enough amount of tomato sauce into a saucepan. You might want to use a pan with a thick bottom to prevent issues such as scorching because of the natural sugars in the tomatoes.
Proceed to warm the sauce over medium heat. With time, you will notice that the final amount after about 10 minutes will be about two-thirds the original amount. By now, you should have a thick paste as the leftover after warming the tomato sauce. Well, that was quite easy to do even for you at home.
2. Canned Tomatoes
The canned tomatoes would still give you another great alternative for handling a tomato paste recipe. The canned tomatoes would come with more juices than what you would find in a paste. So, you need to drain the excess juices from the tomatoes first. This is then followed by simmering the tomatoes until they reduce and have a consistent thickness just as the tomato paste.
During the process of reducing the tomatoes, you can add some spices to tweak the flavor to your liking.
Many people have several bottles of ketchup often lying around the kitchen. You can use the same to make the best tomato paste easily. The reason is that the ketchup as it is will have the right ingredients for making great tomato paste. You will need to simmer the ketchup in addition to some fresh tomatoes to make a great paste.
The fresh tomatoes are important for adding some fresh flavor to the ketchup. You could also add minced garlic or onions as a way of adding more kick to the paste and making it great.
4. Fresh Tomatoes
Plain tomatoes could a lot when it comes to making the best tomato paste for your recipe. You need around 10 pounds of tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt, ½ teaspoon of citric acid, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Turn on your oven, set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then let it preheat for a few minutes. As the oven preheats, you should be cutting the tomatoes into small pieces. Now that you are done with the chopping part, you can place the pieces on saucepan and add the olive oil. Simmer the tomatoes making sure that each piece is soft and the skin has started to peel off. You can stop simmering the moment you notice all the skin comes off easily.
Push the simmered tomatoes through a food mill so that you can easily separate the skin and seeds that would have been carried in the pulp. Remove the seeds and skin from the pup and add sea salt together with the citric acid to the formed juicy pulp.
Proceed to season the pulp for a few minutes before placing it in the oven to bake it at the set temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You should notice that it will reduce significantly, but do not worry, as you would be now making the paste. Let it bake for 30 minutes making sure that you stir it to have it bake evenly. When the baked paste comes to a dark red color, then you should know it is ready.
5. Tomato Puree
Whenever you compare the tomato sauce to the puree, it is easy to note that the puree might be thicker than the sauce. This should make the tomato puree as a great alternative too.
The puree would always have a better thickness consistency throughout the paste. You need to follow the same process we did for the tomato sauce conversion, but take less time for the puree. Just make sure to keep stirring to avoid burning the paste.
You can always end up cooking your tomato paste-based meals when you have the right substitute. By now, you have an idea of how to turn some of the other tomato products into a paste for your recipe. Go ahead, try out some of these substitutes, and share your experiences in the comment section below.