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August 22, 2015 / Leslie

Weekend Cooking: Tomato Puree

Buried in Tomatoes

It’s that time of year again when the tomatoes plants are falling over with ripe tomatoes. I only grew a few plants this year but they are very productive, the best crop I’ve had in years. Yesterday I collected two huge bowls full of ripe plum and better boy tomatoes.


Since so many have ripened at one time, I decided to make puree to freeze and store for later use in sauces, soups, chili, or other recipes. I tend to cook more once the weather cools down.

Recipe: Easy Tomato Puree

  • Blanch ripe tomatoes in boiling water until the skins split, about 3 or 4 minutes
  • Remove using a slotted spoon and let cool (or drop in ice water for a minute.
  • Cut in half and peel off the skin
  • Roughly chop and blend
  • In a large pot boil down to desired consistency.

The puree can be used immediately in sauce, canned or stored frozen.

Tip: If there is too much water in the puree and you don’t want to spend hours boiling it (and besides that tends to ruin the tomatoes), ladle off the top inch or so of liquid in the pot. I reserve that for later use in soups.

Tools: The Macina-Legumi

To make the puree I have a very cool hand-operated food mill called the Macina-Legumi that does a wonderful job. It’s a little more work than an electric food mill or blender, but I like the results much better. It has three different size strainers and is very versatile.


Unfortunately I don’t know where it was purchased because I received it as a gift years ago. An online buying search doesn’t bring up any results other than eBay and a few sites in Italian.

wkendcookingThis post is linked to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
Participation is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Suko / Aug 22 2015 10:46 am

    Leslie, your tomatoes look wonderful. Thank you for sharing your recipe.


  2. Sheila (Book Journey) / Aug 22 2015 10:55 am

    I have missed the weekend cooking posts! Now that weather is starting to feel a bit like fall I get into my time to cook again mode…. the grill becomes optional 🙂


    • Leslie / Aug 23 2015 9:47 am

      I hear you! My stove gets dusty in the summer from lack of use. I have two grills and a side burner and come up with all kinds of creative ways to cook outside.


  3. Our Foodie Appetite / Aug 22 2015 11:14 am

    This is perfect for all of those tomatoes coming out of the garden right now! They’re up to our ears 😉


  4. Vicki / Aug 22 2015 11:28 am

    I love tomatoes. Really really love tomatoes. I could eat them for every meal. Your tomatoes are beautiful! I need to go to the farmers market Monday.


    • Leslie / Aug 23 2015 11:25 am

      I wish I could eat more of them everyday, but they are too acidic for me. That’s one of the reasons I puree them so I can have almost fresh tomato goodness all year long.


  5. WordsAndPeace / Aug 22 2015 11:37 am

    neat! and the macina-legumi, presse-purée in French was a common kitchen utensils every household had in my younger days in France


    • Leslie / Aug 23 2015 9:51 am

      I love this food mill. It makes perfect puree . . . unlike my food processor which makes a mess. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have food gadget envy over your mill! I had a lot of tomatoes at the beginning of summer but then a combination of too wet weather and too hot have kind of slowed the growth. I love the idea of the frozen puree. A little bit of summer in winter sounds lovely!


  7. irene / Aug 22 2015 1:03 pm

    I haven’t done tomatoes for a few years, but I’ve always loved the flavour of home canned.


  8. Kay / Aug 22 2015 2:06 pm

    Those tomatoes look delicious! My mother used to can tomatoes – whole, not as puree. So good in the winter.


  9. Carole from Carole's Chatter / Aug 22 2015 4:07 pm

    It’s not tomato season here would love to have a glut of htem. Cheers


  10. Tina / Aug 22 2015 9:35 pm

    I’m jealous! It’s been so hot here that our tomatoes died off. Love your style.


  11. Sarah's Book Shelves / Aug 23 2015 6:39 am

    Your tomatoes look delicious! We’re getting some good stuff at our farmer’s market, but there’s nothing like homegrown. And – do you freeze the puree for later use?


    • Leslie / Aug 23 2015 12:40 pm

      I freeze it for use in sauces, soups, and other recipes. I don’t trust my canning skills.


  12. Beth F / Aug 23 2015 7:31 am

    Yay for tomato season! Our local crops were iffy because we had a lot of rain, but the plants recovered and we’ve had beautiful tomatoes. I like your sauce — what could be easier.


    • Leslie / Aug 23 2015 12:43 pm

      I was also worried that we had too much rain this spring. Tomatoes usually dislike being too wet. But then all these beautiful tomatoes showed up in July just as the daily rain storms stopped.


  13. sagustocox / Aug 24 2015 8:33 am

    My one tomato plant has been much less productive than last year’s plants.


    • Leslie / Aug 24 2015 9:06 am

      Mine are falling over with fruit this year. I added six inches of new compost to the soil, and I think that made the difference.


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