What’s the difference between tomato puree and paste? These two are tomato-based products that seem to have a lot in common, and surely, they do. However, there is a significant difference between the two!
Tomato puree is just a thick sauce of cooked tomatoes that are strained later, whereas, tomato paste comprises concentrated tomatoes that have been cooked, strained, then cooked again.
What is Tomato Puree?
Tomato purée is a combination of cooked and strained tomatoes that have been mixed together. Tomato purée is made by blending ripe tomatoes, citric acid, and salt in a blender or food processor to create a rich, sour flavor. Purée is commonly offered as a commercially canned tomato product, but you may create it with ripe plum or Roma tomatoes at home.
What is Tomato Paste?
Boiling tomatoes for many hours to lower the water content, filtering away the seeds and skins, then cooking the fluid again to decrease the base to a thick, rich concentration is how tomato paste is formed.
This results in a thick, dense paste with more body and sweetness than puréed tomatoes but less acidity. Many tomato stews, sauces, soups, and ground meat meals, such as meatballs, use tomato paste as a thickening agent.
Tomato Paste vs Puree
There are a few key differences that distinguish these two ingredients:
- Preparation Method
To make tomato purée, you softly cook tomatoes and then purée the softened tomatoes into a liquid.
Tomato paste, however, is cooked for a longer time than puréed tomato paste. Boil it again to reduce the concentration of tomatoes until the mixture converts into a thick paste. Filter the cooked tomatoes to remove the seeds and skins.
- Consistency is Different
The consistency of tomato paste is thicker than that of tomato purée. Tomato paste is a thick paste that you have to spoon or squeeze from a jar. On the other hand, like a blended sauce, tomato purée is thin and more liquid. Tomato puree is occasionally formed from a combination of water with tomato paste, whereas, you can make the paste from reduced tomato purée.
- Taste is Different
Because of the longer boiling time, tomato paste has a deeper flavor than tomato purée. The longer the product remains on the heat, the more concentrated the flavors get, culminating in a product that tastes like a dried tomato.
Tomato purée, however, has a sweeter, milder, and more natural tomato flavor.
With a few tweaks, you can use puree and paste interchangeably, although tomato paste is usually used for thickening tomato sauces or adding more flavor to pasta sauce or pizza sauce. Tomato purée is used in a variety of Italian sauces, including pizza sauce, as well as sauce-based condiments such as salsas and dips.
- Storing and Freezing
Scooping blobs of tomato paste onto a baking sheet or parchment paper and freezing them is the freezer technique for tomato paste. When the blobs are frozen, they may be simply kept in a plastic container, and a blob or two can be removed from the freezer bag and utilized to flavor a dish.
Due to the nature of the puree, it may be frozen in a variety of ways. A bag that holds 8 oz or 15 oz is a decent measure, and this quantity corresponds to most recipe proportions. Both goods may be conveniently kept and utilized in the freezer in this manner.
How to Make Tomato Puree?
Homemade tomato puree is simple to make. Fresh tomatoes are all you’ll need. In reality, you may use any sort of tomato as long as it is ripe.
The consistency of tomato puree will vary depending on the sort of tomatoes used. I make a thick puree with ripe, red, and pulpy tomatoes.
Steps to Make Puree
- Choose tomatoes that are red, ripe, and firm, but not sour. Remove any dirt or grime by rinsing them under running water.
- On each tomato, make two 1/3-inch deep slices opposite to each other using a knife. The cuts should be performed on the top rather than on the side. Peeling will be easier in the next phases as a result of this.
- Fill a big pan or saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. When it begins to boil, carefully drop the tomatoes into the pot and cook for 3 minutes.
- Extinguish the flame. Place the tomatoes in cold water for 2 minutes after removing them from the boiling water. Drain the water and place it on a platter. Remove the skin by peeling it off.
- Remove the stem and cut them in half.
- Place them in a blender jar or a mixer grinder. Blend until the purée is smooth.
- The pureed tomatoes are now ready to use in your favorite curry or soup.
How to Store Tomato Puree?
There are no preservatives in this tomato puree. In the refrigerator, the shelf life is 12 to 15 days, and in the freezer, it’s 3 to 4 months.
So, if you have a surplus of tomatoes and are stumped as to what to do with them, purée them and freeze them in ice trays. You can use the tomato puree cubes in any cuisine that requires tomatoes, such as spaghetti, sauces, and more.
How to Make Tomato Paste?
Tomato Paste is a thick paste that has been manufactured in southern Italy for centuries. This paste is made in a particular way according to tradition.
Boiling tomatoes for many hours to lower the water content and filter the seeds and skins. Then cooking this liquid to reduce the base into a thick, rich concentration is how tomato paste is formed.
Steps to Make Paste
- In a saucepan, heat the oil. Season with salt and tomatoes. Mix thoroughly and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the skin of the tomato peels away. When you’re through, take it out.
- Take a bowl and put it in it. Cover it with a sieve. Sift the tomatoes and scrape out the pulp. When you’re finished, Using a whisker, sift everything one last time. Remove the pulp and set it aside.
- Add the removed tomato pulp to a new saucepan. Cook until it thickens.
- It’s time to make your tomato paste. Allow cooling before storing in a glass container.
How to Store Tomato Paste?
Instead of using plastic containers, use glass ones. Ensure your containers are airtight before using them. Keep out of direct sunshine and heat. Refrigerate it if you have the option. Such items have a longer shelf life if they are stored in a good, dry environment.
Tomato paste is frequently used to increase the thickness of sauces or flavor soups and stews. Tomato purée is the foundation for thin sauces and condiments such as salsas, spicy sauce, marinara sauce, and pizza sauce.