Tomato purée is a thick liquid made by cooking and straining tomatoes. The difference between tomato paste, tomato purée, and tomato sauce is consistency, and the thicker the consistency, the deeper the flavor.
The definitions of tomato purée vary from country to country. In the US, tomato purée is a processed food product, usually consisting of only tomatoes, but can also be found in seasoned form. It differs from tomato sauce or tomato paste in consistency and content; tomato purée generally lacks the additives common to a complete tomato sauce, and does not have the thickness of paste.
To prepare tomato purée, ripe tomatoes are washed and the leaves and stem are removed. Some processors remove the skin of the tomato as well. The fruit flesh is then mashed or mechanically chopped to the desired consistency.
Tomato purée can be used in soups, stews, sauces, or any other dish where the tomato flavor is desired, but not the texture. It is less often used by professional chefs, who find it to have an overly cooked flavor compared to other forms of canned tomatoes. This is sometimes a non-issue, as in long-cooked dishes, but in quick sauces such as a marinara sauce it is undesirable.
Tomato purée has approx 14% solids content. Lower solids content is due to filtering, higher content is due to concentration of the product.
Tomato purée is never referred to by its Italian name, passata di pomodoro, when it has been "passed" through a sieve to remove seeds and lumps. Passata is an entirely different product, its main point of difference being the fact that it is not cooked. In this form, it is generally sold in bottles or aseptic packaging, and is most common in Europe. In the United Kingdom, in this form the product passata is always uncooked, otherwise it would be tomato puree (see above).
- Bev Bennett 30-Minute Meals For Dummies- 2011 "Tomato puree is a thick liquid made by cooking and straining tomatoes. "
- Barbara Ann Kipfer The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference 2012 Page 561 The differences between tomato paste, tomato purée, and tomato sauce are texture and depth of flavor (the thicker the consistency, the deeper the flavor)."
- Sudheer, K.P. & V.Indira, Post Harvest Technology of Horticultural Crops: Vol.07. 2007 ... - Page 163 "The product is very similar to tomato puree except that the solid concentration is more. Tomato paste is the product obtained by removal of peel and seeds from tomatoes, followed by concentration of juice by evaporation under vacuum."
- President's list of articles which may be designated or modified ... United States International Trade Commission - 1990 - Numéro 6 - Page 2 "Tomato paste, which is generally more concentrated than puree, is used as a substitute for fresh or canned tomatoes in the preparation of dishes such as spaghetti, pizza, and pork and beans, as well as for sauces and ketchup. Tomato puree ..."