Using dehydrated tomatoes to make tomato paste

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Master Chef
Nov 21, 2018
Woodbury, NJ
I finally got around to trying something I've been thinking of doing - making tomato paste using rehydrated dried tomatoes! I would think about it while in the basement, and I'd see the jars of them, then forget about them later. Finally, I set them in a bag of other things I brought up, and being on the counter, I finally did it. It worked great, using 2 year old tomatoes. I just soaked them in hot water, and used 5 oz, which is 5 lbs worth of tomatoes. I blended it up, in 2 batches in the Vitamix, which was just over 2 lbs. I cooked them down for 1 1/2 hrs, to 15.5 oz, scraping it frequently. The flavor and aroma is incredible, due to starting out with dried tomatoes.
5 oz dried tomatoes, rehydrated to 2 lbs of sauce. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Cover I use for the wok, for messy things. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Tomato paste, cooked down just an hour. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Cooked down 1 1/2 hours. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

5 lbs worth of dried tomatoes, cooked down to 15.5 oz. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
I love having homemade tomato paste on hand :yum: I make mine a little differently, though. I grate paste tomatoes into a bowl, which removes the skin, and pour off as much liquid as possible, which I save for panzanella. Then I spread the pulp in a sheet pan and bake it with low heat until most of the remaining liquid evaporates. Scoop the paste into ice cube trays, freeze, pop out and put in freezer bags and I haven't had to buy tomato paste for years. Each cube is 2 tablespoons. I'm not sure freezing the tomatoes first makes much of a difference.
Mine is in the freezer now, in 2 oz containers.
I've done this before with old frozen tomatoes, but it has taken much longer, since I was cooking it all the way down. I like that idea of baking, GG, but I don't turn on the ovens if I can help it, when the AC is on! However, I have thought of putting it in the dehydrator, at a slightly higher temp than I usually dehydrate at.
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I might try that depending on this years tomato crop. I have a bunch of dried tomatoes from last year, just dont want to put all my eggs in one basket. Want to make sure I got a good supply this year before I use up all of last years.
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