Tomato purée is considered a staple in most Mediterranean countries, yet it's gradually being acknowledged in the culinary world due to its uniqueness and usage.
Many food enthusiasts are fond of using this condiment as it can be an excellent enhancement for savory dishes requiring a tomato-based flavor. It's often one of those main essentials to create dips and sauces for your favorite pizza and pasta dishes.
If you have just come across this ingredient, here’s a guide that will tell you everything about tomato purée and how it differs from tomato paste and sauce.
What is tomato purée?
As the name itself, tomato purée is mainly made from fresh tomatoes. These tomatoes are being lightly cooked and then being liquidized to form a tomato concentrate or purée.
Unlike its cousin, tomato sauce, tomato purée features thicker consistency and brighter red color that are perfect for adding hue and body for sauces, soups, and stews.
Furthermore, a tomato purée gives a sweet, mild, and fresh tomato taste when added to any dish.
Uses for tomato purée
Little did we know, tomato purée is made for various uses in the kitchen. It's an underrated condiment that should be named as one of those pantry MVPs.
Due to its consistency and bright red color, tomato purée is a perfect addition if you want to achieve bright color and body to your favorite sauce recipes, soups, and stew dishes.
Though it isn't as thicker as the paste, tomato purée is still a good choice, especially when you're looking for a medium that provides spices and flavorings to your recipes.
Moreover, you can use tomato purée if you want to include a pronounced tomato flavor in any of your dishes. And the best part is purée goes well with other ingredients!
What is the difference between tomato purée and tomato paste?
Though tomato purée and tomato paste are made with the same main ingredient, both of them are different items.
When it comes to consistency, tomato paste is the winner. It features thicker consistency than puree, making it suitable to spread on pizza.
On the other hand, tomato purée is thinner, and its consistency is too fluid to use as a spread. However, the purée can be used for flavoring savory dishes and can have spices, and flavorings added, unlike the paste.
Furthermore, tomato paste has a more robust tomato flavor than the purée as it undergoes slow cooking and liquid reduction.
What is the difference between tomato purée and tomato sauce?
It's easy to see the difference between tomato purée and tomato sauce because of their flavor consistency and intensity.
The purée has a stronger and a thicker consistency, unlike tomato sauce. But these differences shouldn't be your reason to ditch one of them as both have a place in the kitchen.
Lastly, tomato sauce is packed with herbs, veggies, and spices, unlike the purée that's merely made with crushed tomatoes.
How to store tomato purée?
To maximize your tomato puree shelf life, it's recommended to store them in an airtight container and put them inside the freezer.
Just make sure to keep the moisture out to retain its flavor. You can enjoy your tomato purée until three to four months if stored properly in the freezer.
Can you freeze tomato purée?
Due to its consistency, freezing tomato purée is possible. And this is a piece of good news for purée lovers out there.
To do it, put your purée in an airtight container before sliding it into your freezer. Your tomato purée can last long up to three to four months in the freezer if stored properly.
How to make tomato puree
Now it's time to make your own tomato purée at home! Here's the step-by-step tutorial on how to make tomato purée using a stovetop method.
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- Wash and dry the tomatoes
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Core and seed the tomatoes.
- Place the tomatoes in a large pot filled with water.
- Bring the pot to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tomatoes from the hot water carefully, and place them in a bowl of cold water.
- After the tomatoes are cool, peel the skin off and discard.
- Add the peeled tomatoes to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Now you can use or store your fresh tomato purée.