Spitikos Domatopoltos

Greek Tomato Paste

In Greek: σπιτικός ντοματοπολτός
Pronounced: spee-tee-KOHS doh-mah-toh-pol-TOHS

A portion of the finished tomato paste, covered with a film of virgin olive oil
A portion of the finished tomato paste, covered with a film of virgin olive oil

I tried two different tomato paste recipes this year, but the Greek version is far superior in flavour.  If you have extra tomatoes at this time of the year, it’s definitely worth the time spent in making your own tomato paste when it turns out like this – rich, dark red and extremely flavoursome.

This paste is actually too nice to waste in a recipe as a mere addition to a vegetable or meat sauce.   I could easily just eat it all by itself, straight out of the jar (but will restrain myself).

Ingredients

  • About 2 kilograms of end-of-season overripe tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 red capsicum (red bell) pepper, seeded
  • 1 tablespoons sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly chopped and skinned, end-of-season tomatoes
Freshly chopped and skinned, end-of-season tomatoes

Method

Blend tomatoes and capsicum until smooth
Blend tomatoes and capsicum until smooth

Process tomatoes and pepper in a food mill, processor, or blender until well pulped.

Transfer to a pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2-3 minutes.

After cooking, strain the tomato mixture over cheesecloth overnight
After cooking, drain the tomato mixture over cheesecloth for 12 hours (overnight is good)

Place mixture in a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, and using a strainer, suspend it over a bowl.  Leave to drain for 12 hours in the refrigerator to remove all excess liquid.

Transfer mixture to a glass or ceramic baking dish and stir in the salt.  Allow the mixture to reach room temperature, then dry in a lukewarm oven (95-100°C) for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove paste from oven and transfer to sterilised glass jars
Remove paste from oven and transfer to sterilised glass jars

Spoon into sterilised glass jars, taking care to avoid creating air pockets, and top with 1/4 inch of extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover completely).  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Home-made Greek tomato paste
Home-made Greek tomato paste

Notes:

This recipe can be multiplied by increasing all ingredients proportionately.
As the tomato paste is used, top up with more oil to cover, as needed.
These will keep well until next year’s tomato crop is ready!

I found this recipe at: –

http://greekfood.about.com/od/doityourself/r/domatopoltos.htm

I only used 1/2 the salt recommended in the original recipe as that seemed plenty.  (I tasted the paste after adding the 1 tablespoon of salt.)

There was an additional comment that in Greek homes, this paste is often spread on slices of country bread with a little olive oil, and topped with a crumble of feta cheese.  Of course I had to try this with our home-made feta cheese, and it tastes incredible!

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