Hot tomato paste
- Aleppo peppers
- Sea salt
Preparing the pepper
- Wash and dry the peppers well
- Slice them and discard the stems and the seeds
- Grind them using a meat grinder
Preparing the tomato juice
- Wash the tomatoes well
- Sort them: keep the hard ones to prepare concasse, throw away the rotten ones, etc..
- Remove the stems and any bruises or imperfections
- Cut the tomatoes and throw them in a tomato churning machine
- Add a handful of sea salt to the tomatoes as they are churned into a purée
- Push the tomato purée through a sieve
- Squeeze out all the juices and throw away the remaining seeds and skin
Cooking the paste
In a large shallow tin-lined copper pot
- Pour the pure tomato juice through a sieve into a large tin-lined copper pot which is properly set on the fireplace
- Monitor the fire and add the necessary wood to keep the heat consistent
- Once the juice starts boiling and thickening, add the pepper and start stirring the pot to make sure the paste doesn't stick to the pot and get burned
- Throw in a handful of sea salt
- Once a while, clean the sides of the pot with a flexible spatula
- After the mixture starts to thicken, taste to adjust the salt
- Once the mixture thickens and resembles a paste, remove it from the heat
In clean dry jars
- Instantly fill the canning jars with the hot tomato paste
- Tap the jars to make sure all air comes out
- Immediately, close the lids tight
We use hot tomato paste in some soups, stews, dips, and stuffing.
We also consume it as a spread or a dip on it's own topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Store the hot tomato paste jars in your pantry or a cool, dark place.
Store the opened jars in the fridge.