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Leftover tomato paste

Have you ever added less than a full can of tomato paste to a recipe?  Then decided not to "waste" the rest and threw it into the pot, too?    Spaghetti sauce can usually take it, but with most other recipes that's a bad idea.

Here's how not to "waste" the balance:

  • If you will use the rest within two or three days, spray the surface inside the can with cooking spray, or pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and swish it around.   The cans no longer impart a metallic taste as they are lined with an inert material, and the oil keeps the paste from drying out.
  • If you may not use it right away, scoop it into a zip-close sandwich bag, flatten it out to remove all the air, seal it and lay it flat in the freezer.  When it's frozen, throw it in the door of the freezer or a section where you store small things.  You can then break off pieces of paste as needed for other dishes.  Add to salad dressings, soups, stews, casseroles, beans and so on.
  • Note that sandwich bags will conserve the paste for a few weeks.  If by some chance you need to freeze larger quantities or for a longer period of time, use freezer bags instead.

  • From Andy F., Preston, England:

"Read your tip on left over tomato paste, I always put the surplus into an ice cube tray and then I have frozen cubes of paste that can be added to sauces etc. and melt in a matter of minutes. (Stick to the same tray all the time, tomato flavored ice cubes don't go to well with coca cola in summer.)"

Thanks.  That would work well with tomato sauce too.  I put frozen "ice"-cubes of evaporated milk, broth, extra sauces, etc. in labeled zipper freezer bags, 'cause I don't have that many ice cube trays.  Always handy to flavor up something, aren't they?




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