What is the difference between tomato paste and tomato puree?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question, “What is the difference between tomato paste and tomato puree?”

What is the difference between tomato paste and tomato puree?

They differ in their consistency. Compared to tomato purée, tomato paste does have a thicker consistency. Tomato paste must be spooned / squeezed out of a jar since it is a concentrated paste. 

To add taste and color to soups, stews, and sauces, tomato purée and paste are frequently used. Both are created from cooked and blended tomatoes. However, tomato paste and puree have a few distinct characteristics.

Similar to a blended sauce, tomato purée is more liquid and thinner. Tomato paste plus water are occasionally combined to make tomato puree, whereas purée can be decreased to make paste.

The first one is sweeter than the second. Compared to tomato purée, that has the more acidic flavor of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste has a gentler and sweeter flavor,

Tomatoes that have been cooked and drained are used to make tomato paste and puree. However, once the water evaporates, tomatoes that produce paste are cooked for a longer period of time and decreased to a concentrate. 

A blended tomato combination called tomato purée is somewhat thicker than a sauce but it’s not as thick as a paste.

They are employed in various ways. With a few modifications, puree and paste can be used interchangeably, although tomato paste is often only used to thicken tomato sauces (like producing marinara sauce) or to add flavor to other sauces like pasta sauce and pizza sauce. 

Many Italian sauces, including pizza sauce, or sauce-based condiments, like salsas or dips, are made using tomato purée.

Methods for Replacing Tomato Paste and Tomato Purée

You may use tomato puree in place of your very own homemade tomato paste to save running to the shop. Continue reading for a brief explanation of how to switch tomato paste for tomato purée and vice versa.

Replace tomato puree with tomato paste. If you run out of tomato purée or don’t have any fresh tomatoes to create your own, you may manufacture tomato purée out of equal amounts tomato paste and water. 

If your recipe asks for one cup of tomato puree, for instance, mix ½ cup of tomato paste with ½ cup of water till your purée has the consistency you want.

Replace tomato paste with tomato puree. In a 1:3 ratio, purée can be used in place of paste. Use 3 tablespoons of puree for every tablespoon of tomato paste called for in the recipe. Puree should be heated in a pan until the water content is reduced and the consistency becomes pastier.

How to make tomato paste at home?

Make sure the oven is at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set oven racks to create a third space in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise. Make sure the tomatoes are quartered.

Tomatoes and olive oil should be simmered together. Olive oil should be heated until it shimmers in a big saucepan set over medium heat. 

Toss in the tomatoes then cook until they’re mushy and their skins are beginning to separate from the meat.

Use a food processor to chop up the tomatoes. In order to remove the seeds and skins from the tomato pulp, you should force it through a spice grinder, sieve, or chinois while the tomatoes are still warm. Mix in some sea salt and citric acid (or lemon juice) to the pulp. The pulp and skins should be thrown away or composted.

To bake the pulp, spread it out on two baking sheets. The tomato puree should be spread out between two big, rimmed baking sheets. A big roasting pan can be used instead, however this method of cooking will require more time.

Tomato pulp may be baked down to a paste consistency. To preheat the oven, put the baking sheets inside. Halfway through the cooking time, check on the tomatoes, stirring liquid paste and moving the oven sheets about to ensure even reduction. 

The paste will gradually dry out and shrink until it no longer covers the baking sheet. Put everything from the two sheets into one big one and bake as usual.

Reduce by even more than half in the oven. Exact baking periods will vary on the moistness of the tomatoes, but the paste is ready when it is glossy, brick-colored, and decreased by more than 50%, 3 to 4 hours. At this time, the paste should not be separated into water droplets.

Put the paste in containers. Spoon the paste into clean 4-ounce jars, making sure to leave a 3/4-inch headspace.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question, “What is the difference between tomato paste and tomato puree?”

References

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/tomato-puree-vs-paste-explained#want-to-learn-more-about-cooking
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-tomato-paste-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-206853

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.