Replacing tomato paste to make fresh red pasta

Saluti- I am getting ready to make your 'red' pasta for a Christmas gift.

I've already made the green, and am making the little farfalle, to present three colours of Christmas and Italy.

I have no 'blended' tomato paste, but do have a tube of Mutti double concentrated tomato paste. Your advice?

I need to 'make do', as I am in a rural area, with no Italian markets anywhere near (alas!). I look forward to your response, and for now, will go make the little butterflies, and perhaps some little ears as well...they look very fun to make.

Thanks and ciao,



Hi Roxy - hope I'm not too late to help here.

You could use your intense tomato paste yes (I'd try using one teaspoon of paste per 2-person serving).

Alternatively, you could use a couple of 'plum' tomatoes (i.e. from a can), then blend these and use that juice instead.

Do let me know how you get on (even if you already made it), just by adding a comment below if you like, and have a great 2011!


Comments for Replacing tomato paste to make fresh red pasta

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Jan 05, 2011
Used my 'red substitute' and made it. Some feedback and a long pasta sticking question...
by: Roxy

Greetings Matt and thanks for your response.

I did go ahead making my own version of the blended tomato paste.

I put a generous squidge of the plain tomato paste/purée into a little pan with a bit of water and a tiny pinch of sugar, heated it up and mixed it in with my flour (semolina) and egg.

It came out beautifully red, and with a delicate tomato flavor.

I ran it through my Imperia as a thin spaghetti.

I also made the spinach (as a linguini), which was gorgeous, and did the farfalles with lemon-juice and zest.

I placed each in a small bowl of contrasting 'Christmas/Italian' colours, along with a couple of your recipe ideas for very simple sauces, and gave the whole thing to my neighbor for Christmas.

They loved the pasta, but had one 'critique'. After I made the different pastas, I dried the long ones for a few minutes on a rack, then loosely coiled them to place in the bowls.

The farfalle dried a few minutes on a platter. But the long pastas stuck together a bit, and my neighbor said they stayed a bit thicky in the cooking pot.

Any suggestions to keep it from both sticking together, or drying out too much and cracking when trying to coil it up? Thanks- your website is wonderful. I especially like Mamma Marisa showing how to make orechiette!


Jan 06, 2011
Sticky suggestions
by: Matt - Pasta Recipes Made Easy

Hi again Roxy and thanks so much for the update; sounds wonderful!

Regarding the ever-lasting problem of long pasta sticking, you were certainly right to dry them on a drying rack first. You could even have left them on there for a couple of hours maybe.

As for them then cracking, I'm not sure there is a solution until they're cooked really. Bit stumped on that one! I'm sure the packet 'curls' you can buy like this have been specially made and commercially quick-dried in the factory; not something that it's possible to replicate at home.

When in the pan, what's important is to use lots of water (we use two full kettles of hot water in the pan just for a 2-person serving), well salted, and add to a splash of olive oil. Then stir very regularly, if not constantly, when cooking the pasta. That always works for us, so maybe advise your friends for next time?

Well done you, what a great present!


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