2 1/2 lbs (about 3 to 4 large) tomatoes, whole, with stems and cores removed 3 cups water 2 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Makes 4 cups.
Place the tomatoes and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute, then remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and submerge them in a large bowl of ice water. Quickly slip their skins off and return them to the cooking water. Set over medium-high heat and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and mash the tomatoes into a chunky purée with a large fork or potato masher. To prevent lumps of tomato paste, ladle a cup of the tomato mash into a small bowl and add the tomato paste, stirring to combine completely. Stir the tomato paste mixture back into the tomatoes in the saucepan and add the salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered and stirring frequently, over medium heat, until the mixture has reduced to a thick chunky sauce, about 20 minutes more. Remove from heat, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
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