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Preserving Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a key, yet underutilized, ingredient to creating rich and flavorful dishes, particularly soups, beans, and sauces. I didn't really appreciate or like this ingredient because of the waste factor. A recipe would usually only need 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste but a typical 8oz can has 10 tablespoons so almost all of it would go to waste.

Not any more. I've figured out that tomato paste is so easy to preserve simply by freezing it. What I like to do is divide the tomato paste into 2 tablespoon size portions. A typical can has 5 of those (10 tablespoons total). I use 1 of the 5 in a dish right away. Then I preserve the other 4 portions in sandwich or snack size Ziploc bags.

In each Ziploc bag, I store two portions, one in each bottom corner. This keeps each portion separated and ready to pull out of the freezer and use in the next dish. Therefore, for each can, I use two Ziploc bags to store the four remaining 2 tablespoon portions.

So next time you see tomato paste in a recipe. Don't worry about waste and certainly don't skip it. Use this technique to have some ready to take your dishes to the next flavor level.