Browning Tomato Paste {The Mountain Kitchen Tips

Browning Tomato Paste {The Mountain Kitchen Tips

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Browning tomato paste is the best secret I can give you for making your own homemade tomato soup and sauces. Browning tomato paste gives your dishes a boost the flavor, giving them an all-day simmered sauce taste in a third of the time.

What is tomato paste?

Tomato paste is a dense puree of tomatoes that are cooked down to remove most of the moisture content, skins, and seeds. The dense paste is a concentration of tomato flavor that is added to sauces, braises, soups, and stews for thickness and flavor.

However, it won’t work magic like this. It will still have a raw taste. You can unlock the true flavors by caramelizing the tomato paste.

tomato paste can opened from both ends

Quick Tip: Tomato paste is very thick and hard to get out of a can. The best way to get the paste out of the pan is to open the can at both ends with a can opener. Leave the lid in place and push the paste out of the can and drop it into the pan.

Why Do You Brown Tomato Paste?

Before adding the paste to a sauce, brown it in some olive oil.  Doing so causes a chemical reaction within the paste which changes its aroma and taste.  The result is a cooked (versus) raw flavor, less bitter, sweeter, and a character of greater depth and structure. 

I use this same technique each time I make homemade bolognese. Here’s what you do:

browning tomato paste in pot

How To Brown Tomato Paste

To release its full potential, make sure the paste comes in contact with the bottom of the pan you are cooking the sauce in. Simply, cook the tomato paste in olive oil, using a 2:1 ratio of paste to the oil.

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the color changes from a bright red color to a dark orangy-red rust color (pincer). In about 5-minutes, the paste has caramelized unlocking amazing flavor.

Add your cooking liquid (tomato sauce, broth, etc.) to the browned paste to help deglaze the pan. Then continue to cook as desired.

tomato paste inside pot

11 Recipes That Use Tomato Paste:

Try browning paste the next time you make a homemade tomato sauce give this a try. You’ll love the difference in your dishes!

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