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Caramelize Your Tomato Paste!

Did you know, there is a whole new dimension of flavor hiding inside that little can of tomato paste, just waiting to be unleashed? Once you try this, just throwing it in the pot straight out of the can will never be the same again.

All you have to do is caramelize, or brown, the paste in a bit of oil, with the onion and garlic or whatever else you might have going on in your pan at the appropriate step in your recipe, to sweeten and boost the flavor profile of your dish in a great big way.

Or you could put the paste with about a third as much olive oil in a small pot or pan and give it a nice caramelization before you toss it in at whatever point it's called for in a given recipe.

The main thing is to cook the paste more or less all by its lonesome till it goes from its original bright red to a deep burgundy, or brick color. The process should take about five minutes over medium heat, stirring, constantly. Remember, you can caramelize your tomato paste at a step in the recipe when you're caramelizing or browning your onions too, for example.

Just keep it in mind the next time you see a recipe that calls for adding paste straight out of the tube or can. Unlock all that additional sweet, "sapore delizioso" (beautiful flavor) instead! Nonna will certainly approve.

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