Tomato Paste; Tomato Puree; Tomato Sauce

PURCHASING
? Tomato paste: A deep red, richly flavored concentrate that?s made of tomatoes that have been cooked for several hours, strained and reduced. It?s available in cans or tubes.

? Tomato puree: A thick, rich mixture made of tomatoes that have been cooked briefly and strained. It?s available in cans.

? Tomato sauce: This is a slightly thinner tomato puree. Some styles are seasoned so that the sauce is ready to add to soups, sauces and other preparations.

EQUIVALENTS
? Tomato paste: 4 1/2-ounce tube = 5 tablespoons
? Tomato puree: 1 cup = 1/2 cup tomato paste plus water to equal 1 cup
? Tomato sauce: 1 cup = 3/8 cup tomato paste plus water to equal 1 cup

USING
? When a recipe calls for tomato paste and all you have is tomato sauce, for each tablespoon of tomato paste, add 1/2 cup tomato sauce and reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.

? The next time you need a small amount of tomato paste, buy it in a tube instead of a can. Because so little of the tubed paste is exposed to the air, it can be tightly sealed and refrigerated for up to 1 year.

? To freeze leftover tomato paste: Line a pie pan with plastic wrap. Place level tablespoons of paste at 1-inch intervals on the plastic wrap. Freeze, uncovered, until solid. Fold over the edges of the plastic wrap to cover the tomato paste, place the contents in a plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. The tablespoons of frozen paste can be dropped right into hot mixtures like soups and sauces.

? Use a dab of tomato paste to enliven flat-flavored soups or sauces.