Tomato paste is one of my 'go-to' kitchen ingredients. Combine it with some wine and a few herbs, and you end up with a fresh tasting, go with anything sauce.
Until this year, I kept searching store shelves for the latest trendy import hoping for something that tastes rich and hearty without that metallic aftertaste.
But then an idea struck! A few years ago I took a chili making class when I was in Santa Fee. Many of the sauces we made started with dried chilies. I thought why not try making tomato paste with dried tomatoes. I always have these in my pantry and I like them for snacks as well as cooking. So after a number of tries, here's my latest recipe.
Makes ~ 1/2 cup of paste
6 dried tomato halves (about 1/4 cup if using pieces)
1/4 cup liquid (chicken stock, water, apple cider, or wine--your preference)
1/2 Tbps olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
salt to taste
Bring the liquid, olive oil, and spices to a boil, remove from heat.
Add the dried tomatoes and let soak until soft--about 25 minutes. Not all of the liquid will be absorbed.
When cool enough to handle, pour liquid and tomatoes into blender and pulse until a paste forms. It will not be as thick as store bought. It's now ready for use.
You may need to adjust your recipe since this paste will have a rich, flavorful tomato-y taste.
Stores for 2-3 days in refrigerator. Can also be frozen, but I normally only make enough for what I need.