When tomato puree is cooked for several hours until thick, the richly flavoured tomato concentrate can be bottled to use all year long. Have excess homegrown (or locally grown) tomatoes? Make a batch of your own tomato paste! 

Ingredients for  TOMATO PASTE
Yield: 8-9 cups
Tomatoes, Roma*
6.3kg (14 pounds)
Citric Acid
1 teaspoon
Salt, Finely Ground
1 teaspoon (optional)
*Fresh or thawed tomatoes can be used. Other “paste/plum” tomato varieties can be used - they are dense with less seeds and are long or pear shaped. Some examples include Amish paste,  black prince, Italian gold, opalka, Polish linguisa, principe borghese, san marzano, saucy and sausage.
1.  Clean jars and equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
NOTE: Only half-pint jars (1 cup/250ml or smaller in volume) are suitable for this recipe.
2.  Wash tomatoes. Discard spoiled tomatoes (damaged tomatoes will affect the flavour, reduce storage period and increase risk of spoilage). Remove tomato cores.
3.  Spread tomatoes on an oven tray in a single layer. Do not add any oil. Roast on low heat until skins split.
4.  Remove trays from the oven and cool tomatoes to touch.
5.  Discard tomato skins (skins can be set aside to dehydrate into tomato powder) and run roasted tomatoes through a passata machine, food mill or sieve to discard seeds.
6.  Place tomato puree into a large pan. Add citric acid and stir well. Simmer tomato puree gently until it is as thick as possible – this can be done in a slow cooker on low, or in a low-temperature oven (using an oven-proof dish) or on the stove top (on low simmer, in a wide based pan if possible).
NOTE: This reduction is “low and slow” – on low heat to prevent scorching and slowly to remove the water content – until the mixture is very thick (i.e. halved in volume). This may take hours, depending on the method used to reduce the tomato puree.
7.  When the tomato paste is ready: place the lids into a heatproof bowl and cover the lids with boiling water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
8.  Place jars onto a heatproof surface i.e. wood board (or tea towel).
9.  Fill jars with hot tomato paste, filling to 1.25cm (1/2 inch) from the rim of each jar.
TIP: use a jar funnel to fill jars.
10.  Using a non-metal utensil (i.e. chopstick), remove any bubbles and add more hot tomato paste if required to correct the headspace if it dropped below 1.25cm (1/2 inch) from the jar rim.
11.  Wipe jar rims with a damp paper towel to remove any food residue.
12.  Remove lids from hot water and seal jars i.e. twist to secure “fingertip tight”.
13.  Place jars of tomato paste into the pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes back to a full boil.
14.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface i.e. wooden board or towel. Do not adjust lids during this time.
15.  After 12-24 hours: check jars have sealed before labelling and dating clearly.
16.  Store jars of tomato paste in a cool, dark and dry place (i.e. pantry) for up to 12 months. Jar lids should remain tightly sealed during storage, and not flex up or down when pressed (which indicates jar seal failure, do not consume).
17.  Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 5 days.
TIP: Freeze leftover tomato paste from opened jars in freezer safe containers (we recommend storing in the freezer in an ice cube tray that has an airtight lid, example pictured).
Processing Time for  TOMATO PASTE  in a Boiling Water Canner

Altitude Processing Times
Packing Style
Jar Size
0-1000 ft
1001-3000 ft
3001-6000 ft
6000+ ft
Hot Pack
Half-Pint (250ml/1 cup)
or smaller
45 minutes
50 minutes
55 minutes
60 minutes
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image Credit: Megan Radaich          
Kaya Wanjoo. Food Preserving kaditj kalyakoorl moondang-ak kaaradj midi boodjar-ak nyininy, yakka wer waabiny, Noongar moort. Ngala kaditj baalap kalyakoorl nidja boodjar wer kep kaaradjiny, baalap moorditj nidja yaakiny-ak wer moorditj moort wer kaditj Birdiya wer yeyi.
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