You can’t get tomato paste in Mexico - or at least the parts of Mexico I have been to. There are a lot of tomato products in the store, but they all seem to be “puree of tomato with a lot of salt added”. You can get canned tomatoes, but they are very expensive - like $3.50 per 24 oz can or so.
MX cuisine does not have a lot of call for tomato paste - but I use a lot of it in making soups stews, and sauces. So I decided to make my own.
Tomatoes are pretty cheap in Sinaloa - tomato capital of Mexico. I can get a kilo of plum tomatoes in Mazatlan for about $1.25. So, here is the recipie.
Take 1.5 kilo of plum tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water for a minute and take the skins off. Be sure to score the bottom of the tomato before blanching - this helps the skins come off easy. Skin them, cut them into quarters and take the seeds and centers out. Throw the whole mess into a crock pot and cook it down for about three hours, let cool, then whip it up in the blender into a puree. Add a pinch of salt but not too much, since it will really concentrate down. Cook down for another 8 hours. I ended up with about 20 oz of puree. It's thick and sticks to the back of a spoon when done. Bag it in 5 oz portions and put it into the freezer.
Tomatoes have some natural preservative qualities, so the will keep in the freezer - and they don‘t take up much room at all. This paste turned out really good, but I used up all of my tomatoes - so I have to go to the store and get another kilo before I can get some great sauce going. Here is my tomato sauce recipe.
1 kilo to fresh tomatoes, skinned and seeded
2 cloves garlic
2 TBS oregeno,
1 tbs basil
½ tbs rosemary
1 carrot, 1 stalk celery grated
Red wine or chicken stock or water - whatever is around
5 oz homemade paste
Sautee the veggies and throw it all into a crock pot, cook down for about 8 hours, mashing to tomatoes up for country style, or using a blender to make a smooth sauce for pizza.
And if all else fails, get a good friend to bring you a case of tomato paste from the North!