Tomato puree is a concentrated sauce made from tomatoes that have been cooked and strained that has a smooth consistency. It is typically made by cooking ripe tomatoes until they are soft, and then pureeing the cooked tomatoes using a food processor or blender. The resulting puree is then strained to remove the seeds and skin, resulting in a smooth, thick sauce.
Tomato puree is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. It is also low in calories and fat, making it a healthy addition to many dishes. It is used as an ingredient in many different dishes, including soups, stews, sauces, and casseroles.
Tomato puree can also be used as a base for making tomato sauce or tomato soup. It is often used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes in recipes, as it is easier to work with and has a longer shelf life. Tomato puree is available in cans or glass jars at most grocery stores. It can also be made at home by cooking and pureeing fresh tomatoes.
How to Make Tomato Puree
To make tomato puree, you will need the following ingredients:
- Fresh tomatoes.
- Salt (optional).
Here's how to make tomato puree:
- Wash and chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
- Place the chopped tomatoes in a saucepan and add a small amount of water (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan).
- Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the tomatoes simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are very soft.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes.
- Blend the cooked tomatoes in a food processor or blender until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the puree through a fine-mesh sieve to separate the seeds and skin from the smooth mixture.
- Add salt to taste, if desired.
- Use the tomato puree immediately, or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
That's it! With just a few simple steps, you can easily make homemade tomato puree. You can use it in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, sauces, and casseroles. Enjoy!
When using tomato puree in recipes, it is important to remember that it is a concentrated form of tomatoes, so you may need to adjust the amount used depending on the recipe and your personal preference.
How to Use Tomato Puree
Here are a few ideas for using tomato puree in your cooking:
Soups and stews
Tomato puree can be used as a base for making soups and stews. It adds flavor and thickness to the dish, and can be used in combination with other vegetables and proteins.
Tomato puree can be used as the base for making a variety of pasta sauces, such as marinara sauce, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce. Simply mix the tomato puree with other ingredients, such as onions, garlic, and herbs, and simmer until the sauce is heated through.
Tomato puree can be used as an ingredient in casseroles, such as lasagna, baked ziti, and enchiladas. It adds flavor and moisture to the dish and helps to bind the ingredients together.
Tomato puree can be used as the base for making homemade pizza sauce. Simply mix the tomato puree with other ingredients, such as garlic, basil, and oregano, and spread it over the pizza crust before adding the toppings.
Tomato puree can be used to make dips, such as spinach and artichoke dip or buffalo chicken dip. Simply mix the tomato puree with other ingredients, such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, and spices, and serve with crackers or vegetables.
These are just a few examples of ways to use tomato puree in your cooking. You can use it as a base for making sauces, as an ingredient in soups and stews, or as a condiment for adding flavor to a variety of dishes.
Tomato Puree Substitute Options
If you don't have tomato puree on hand, there are a few options you can consider as a substitute:
1. Fresh tomatoes
If the recipe calls for a small amount of tomato puree, you may be able to use fresh tomatoes as a substitute. Simply chop the tomatoes and puree them in a blender or food processor until smooth. You may need to strain the puree to remove the seeds and skin.
2. Canned tomatoes
Canned tomatoes can also be used as a tomato puree substitute. Simply puree the canned tomatoes in a blender or food processor until smooth. You may need to strain the puree to remove the seeds and skin.
3. Tomato sauce
If you have tomato sauce on hand, you can thin it out with water or broth to create a tomato puree substitute. Simply mix equal parts tomato sauce and water or broth, and then puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
4. Tomato paste
Tomato paste can be thinned out with water or broth to create a tomato puree substitute. Simply mix equal parts tomato paste and water or broth, and then puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Keep in mind that these substitutes may not have the same flavor or consistency as tomato puree, and may not work in all recipes. It may be necessary to adjust the amount of the substitute used, depending on the recipe and your personal preference.
Say hello to Jessica "Jess" Ainsley, a 30-something food blogger and freelance copywriter based in the West Coast. With a passion for all things related to food and cooking, Jessica spends her days testing out new recipes and sharing her culinary adventures on her popular blog.