In the store, they are known as “Diced,” or “Ready-cut Tomatoes” and savvy commercial processors have pre-seasoned them with herbs to streamline meal prep. If you garden, choose tomato varieties that are described as paste, plum, or processing tomatoes. Romas fit the description, of course, but there are scores of beautiful heirloom tomatoes that process well: Japanese Plum, Amish Paste, Roughwood Golden Plum, Tlacolula Pink, Goldman’s Italian American, and Japanese Black Trifele among them. The difference in flavor between home-grown and store-bought is remarkable, and won’t you feel thrifty next time you pull a jar of these off your shelf! Ps. Oregon State University gets the credit for the processing instructions, I merely dressed them up following safe guidelines.
12 lbs. paste tomatoes yields approx. 8-9 pint jars
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
(or 1/8 tsp onion powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp celery salt
Heat one-sixth of a canner load of prepared tomatoes quickly in a large pot, crushing them with a potato masher or wooden spoon to release juices. (Continue heating to boiling, stirring to prevent burning.) Gradually add remaining quartered tomatoes, stirring constantly. Crushing is not necessary for these. Boil gently 5 minutes after adding all the tomatoes.