Tomato paste vs. tomato sauce: two staples of Italian cuisine. It’s hard to imagine a dish without either one! But what’s the difference? This article will explore how they’re made, their ingredients, and how they’re used in cooking – as well as which is healthier.
Distinguishing them can be hard because they both are made from tomatoes. So what makes them different?
What is tomato paste?
Tomato paste is a concentrated form of tomato. It’s made from cooked tomatoes that are reduced to a thick consistency, which gives it its rich color and deep flavor. Tomato paste is typically sold in jars or tubes and can be found near the tomato sauces at your grocer.
What is tomato sauce?
Tomato sauce, on the other hand, contains tomatoes that have been crushed into a pulp – not reduced to a thick consistency like tomato paste. It’s seasoned with salt (and sometimes sugar) and simmered until it reaches desired thickness. You’ll often find this product pre-seasoned for pizzas or pasta as well as plain varieties. Tomato sauce usually comes canned but you can also make it yourself from fresh tomatoes if you’re up for an adventure!
What’s the main difference between tomato paste and sauce?
Tomato paste is a thick concentrate, whereas tomato sauce doesn’t have nearly as much thickness. This means that they can be used interchangeably in most recipes or dishes – with a few exceptions.
Is it possible to substitute one for another?
In general, you should be able to use either product when cooking without any problems whatsoever. However, pasta sauces are often more watery than their thicker counterparts and if this causes your dish not to thicken up properly while simmering on the stove-top then using some of your prepared tomato paste will help give it that extra bit of oomph needed to get there. You may even need less overall since like we said – these products tend to be quite concentrated.
Tomato paste vs. sauce – Is one healthier than the other?
Tomato sauce is typically slightly healthier since it’s made with fresh tomatoes and contains fewer preservatives. However, both of these products are very low in calories while remaining high in vitamin A (in fact they contain more nutrients per gram than most raw vegetables) so either option works great for a healthy lifestyle!
Is the consistency similar?
Both tomato paste and sauce are made from cooked tomatoes so they have a similar consistency. However, the thickness of your finished product will depend on how you use them including what herbs and spices you add to it (both can be used in cooking but sometimes one is preferred over the other), as well as if your dish contains any dairy such as cheese or cream which thickens up dishes naturally.
These products may be confusing for some. Tomato sauce is typically sold in larger cans while tomato paste is more likely to come in small jars or tubes – but don’t let this fool you! A little bit of either one goes a long way and they both contain roughly the same amount of servings inside so pick whichever size makes sense for your current project.
Don’t forget that just like any other product, an open can or jar should always be stored in your refrigerator once opened. This will help keep it fresh much longer than leaving it out on your countertop where humidity could lead to spoilage over time. If you’re not quite sure whether yours has gone bad but think there’s a chance then err on the side of caution and toss it. Better safe than sorry!
Do they taste similar?
The taste between the two is quite similar. Tomato paste tends to be a bit sweeter and more intense while tomato sauce has a fresher flavor that can change depending on what other ingredients it’s simmered with (garlic, onion, salt).
Tomato paste vs. sauce – What are they used for?
Both of these products have endless possibilities! You’ll find them in many different dishes from soups to casseroles and even sandwiches too. They’re both widely used in Italian cuisine but also appear frequently throughout Latin America as well – especially Mexico where salsa is made using this same concept! Both work great when mixed into pasta sauces or chili or simply combined together for an easy homemade marinara.
There you have it – the main differences between tomato paste and sauce. Both have their own unique uses but are extremely similar in taste, consistency, health benefits, and occasion for use! Although you can substitute one for another without any problems they both work great on their own or combined together depending on what your dish requires.