Recipes and Ramblings in Italy

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Cooking Tip of the Week (7/17/2011)

Posted by Bill Abruzzo on July 21, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Frying Tomato Paste Enhances the Flavor and Adds Depth to Your Dish


Many recipes tell you to stir tomato paste into a sauce, soup or stew. However, frying the tomato paste first fully develops its flavor and eliminates any raw or metallic taste. It is a quick and easy way to enhance the flavor of your dish.


Tomato paste should be added at the beginning of a recipe, rather than at the end. This allows its flavor to marry with the dish. It should be added immediately after the aromatics are sautéed in olive oil or rendered fat. When the aromatics are soft, push them to one side of your pot or frying pan. Place a dollop of tomato paste on the other side, tilt the pot or frying pan to pool the oil around the tomato paste, and let it gently sizzle for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. As the dollop of tomato paste sizzles, press down on it with the back of a wooden spoon to flatten and spread it out. After the tomato paste has cooked, incorporate it into the aromatics and then add the liquid and other ingredients to complete your sauce, soup or stew.


Categories: Cooking Tips

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1 Comment

Reply Bill Abruzzo
2:24 AM on August 10, 2011 
3 weeks have past, and no comments on this! I thought for sure some of the "old school" Italians would get a kick out of this tip. Isn't this how any old style "Sunday Gravy" begins?? After browning the meatballs, sausage, braciole and pork ribs, the tomato paste hits the frying pan and sizzles away!