How to make Tomato Paste:
Think of tomato paste as concentrated tomatoes. Take your home grown tomatoes and dip them in water close to boiling until the skin starts to tear. Let them cool a bit and then peel and core them. You can cut them into quarters to make it easier to puree. You puree them in a food processor, blender, sieve or food mill. I like my old fashioned Foley food mill, myself but it will take a bit more straining.
To strain, place the tomatoes in a piece of cheese cloth or tulle and set it in a strainer over a bowl to catch the juice. You can leave it like that in the fridge, over night. The next day, add a bit of salt to taste and dry it out a bit more by putting it in a glass baking dish in a 200 degree oven for about half an hour. Some people add it to the crockpot for a few hours with the lid off. The Italians then store it with olive oil on the top to preserve it. I prefer to process mine in a boiling water bath.
Once you have tomato paste, you can take out a pint jar for pizza sauce. Just add some chopped oregano, basil, fennel seed, garlic and onion powder. No need to cook it, and fresh herbs are the best in my opinion.
For Ketchup:Use a pint of tomato paste, add ½ C of honey, ½ C white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, onion and garlic powder to taste
If it is too thick add water a spoon at a time. Let the flavors meld for a couple days.
Once you have ketchup, you can also have Thousand Island dressing by adding Mayo, and sweet pickle relish. Mayonnaise is made from an egg yolk with oil stirred into it slowly and flavored with a bit of lemon juice and salt.
You can also have barbeque sauce in a hurry:Use 2 C of ketchup and add ½ C apple cider vinegar, ½C of brown sugar (you can add molasses to replace some of the sugar). ½ T onion powder, ½ T ground mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
To make it more picante add red pepper flakes, or Tabasco. If you like that smokey flavor, you can find BBQ spice or liquid smoke.
Tomato paste is a true convenience food. It rightfully has a place in your home storage. If you have it, you will find yourself adding it to spaghetti sauce, chili or soups that just are not quite thick enough. It is always good to have tomato paste on hand.