After I made ketchup today, I realized there are many things that I've learned about how tomato paste can be used. I always buy unsalted paste so I can control the amount and kind of salt I use.
Normally I like fresh and raw things better than canned, but when I don't have fresh, it's nice to have a backup in the pantry. Out comes some tomato paste and a recipe I had tucked away that doesn't call for fresh tomatoes.
I have recipes that use tomato paste instead of ketchup for a thousand island and a catalina (or red "French") salad dressing. Both just as good without all the flavorings that ketchup has.
Since I don't make pizza very often, I usually use tomato paste with added water (to thickness desired) and pizza seasonings to stand in for a more traditionally prepared pizza sauce. While I don't really have a recipe for what I mix in, I usually use oregano (the "pizza herb"), basil, thyme, salt, and garlic (fresh or dried) and granulated onion. I taste and adjust as needed.
Another recipe I keep handy for times when I don't have other forms of canned or fresh tomatoes is barbecue sauce which we like better than all the corn syrup versions in the store. And it's much cheaper too.
"5 S" Barbecue Sauce (Sweet, Spicy, Southern Style Sauce)
(A take off from a recipe I found in Meatless Burgers, by Louise Hagler)
1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup tomato paste (1 - 6 oz. can)
6 Tablespoons prepared mustard
3 Tablespoons honey (or equivalent sweetener)
4 teaspoons onion granules
3/4 teaspoon garlic granules
3/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
crushed red pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients, except lemon juice, in a saucepan and mix well with a wire whisk. Bring to boil on stove. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Take off heat and stir in lemon juice. Let cool. Put into glass quart jar and store in fridge.
Make sure you check out more kitchen tips hosted by Tammy's Recipes.