Store bought tomato paste is full of preservatives and additives that give it a long shelf life. You can easily make your own from fresh tomatoes or tinned tomatoes. Make a big batch and keep it in the fridge or freezer and give some away to a friend.

Tomato Paste from Fresh Tomatoes

Yields 2 cups


4kg ripe red tomatoes

½ cup olive oil plus 4 tablespoons

2 teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius.
  2. Roughly chop the tomatoes into 8ths.
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil on high heat
  4. Add the tomatoes to the pot and allow the mixture to come to the boil. Stir and cook until the tomatoes have softened for 10 minutes.
  5. Press the mixture through a sieve or food mill, to remove the seeds and get a smoother mixture. Alternately if you don’t mind the seeds and are happy to have a slightly chunky paste, just move onto the next step.
  6. Take a large flat baking dish that has a rim all the way around and rub with the additional 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the tomato mixture all over the tray.
  7. Bake for about 3 hours, turning the mixture over with a spatula or egg flipper every 20 minutse to half an hour. This process evaporates the water.
  8. Reduce the heat to 110 degrees Celcius and allow to cook for another half hour or so until the paste is thick and dark red.
  9. Keeps in in the fridge for 1 month or 6-8 months in the freezer.


Quick Tomato Paste from Tinned Tomatoes


3 x 400g cans of whole peeled or crushed tomatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoon salt


  1. Puree the tomatoes in a blender or food processor
  2. Add the tomatoes, olive oil and salt to a medium size pot and bring to the boil on medium-high heat. Cook for about 10-12 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning. The paste should be reduced to about 2/3 quantity.
  3. Yields 2 cups of tomato paste. As above, it should keep in the fridge for up to a month, and in the freezer for about 6-8 months.


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