Two years ago, I had a glut of tomatoes and my friend Kittee suggested a great recipe that used up many pounds of tomatoes, and made a super rich tomato paste. I made a batch, popped it in the freezer, and started using a little bit of it every time I made soup or wanted to add some serious umami tomato power to my dinner. Frankly, we fell in love with that stuff. It's hard to put into words just how flavorful and rich and amazing this stuff is. The problem was, I had totally forgotten what it was called and hadn't bookmarked my recipe. I asked Kittee and she didn't remember either. I was desperate! All I remembered was that it started with the letter "C."
Well, we recently finally used up our last cube of "tomato power," and in a state of panic, I got down to some serious Googling ... and voila! I found it!! The glorious tomato power umami flavor cubes were called "Conserva." There are a lot of good recipes and ideas for conserva online, and I read a bunch of sites, then sort of combined a few of them.
tiny little guy full of power!
The recipe starts with 5 pounds of tomatoes, and ends up with about 16 1-inch tomato boullion cubes. That's roughly 1 pound of tomatoes per 3 cubes of conserva. It's basically an Italian tomato paste with some salt and olive oil... but the end result is totally out of sight.
I used: 5 lbs dry-farmed tomatoes, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1/2 tsp salt.
lots of tomatoes!
First I washed and halved / quartered all the tomatoes. All of that went in to a pot (top left) with the olive oil and salt, and was brought to a boil over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes or so... "until the skin was beginning to soften and peel off the flesh of the tomatoes," as directed by one of the recipes. Some of the recipes said to seed the tomatoes, so I did that. But then, I was looking at that bowl full of tomato flavor, and I couldn't bring myself to leave it out. So I boiled that stuff down for a little while too.
food mill fun!
All the stewed tomatoes and the cooked down seeds/juice were run through a food mill to create a pot of thick soupy tomato-ness.
the final product!
In the end, I got 16 cubes of pure caramelized tomato power umami goodness. You guys. This stuff is SO GOOD and SO SPECIAL. It's definitely a project to make, but it mostly just requires you being around the house, not a lot of actual work. In fact, I already decided to make another batch, because I don't think this will be enough.
All the power and glory of a full-sized Amey in a tiny little Tomato-Conserva-Sized Amey!
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