Tomato sauce from dehydrated tomatoes?

We weren’t able to buy any canned tomatoes when we did our big stock up shop about 10 days ago. But I’m wondering, if marinara is oil, garlic, onion, spices plus tomatoes - then simmer, can it also be all the former plus dehydrated tomatoes and water - then simmer? Or is there some type of alchemy that takes place when you dehydrate that affects this? Because we have a lot of dehydrated tomatoes from the summer.

Try a small batch. I usually make tomato paste that way when plum tomatoes are out of season.

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I will. Just fishing to see if anyone has tried this at home.

I haven’t made marinara. I’ve done a lot of cooking with dehydrated ingredients. It should work fine. Without other data I’d hydrate the tomatoes first rather than trying to hydrate on the cooker. Remember simmering is to reduce moisture and concentrate flavor. I’d soak the dried tomatoes for awhile first - don’t overdo the water, just barely to cover. You aren’t trying to drown them.

I hope this helps. Please report back.

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I haven’t tried dehydrated. I looked for some in my pantry for a taco filling yesterday, and didn’t find any, but found paste and sundried. I went with paste, and it was fine.

I suspect that “freeze-dried” tomatoes (if such a thing exists) would be somewhat closer to “fresh”
tomatoes than regular, slow-dried tomatoes, but iI you mean what amount of “sun-dried tomatoes”, then yes, drying them out completely does signficantly affect their flavor, and I don’t think trying to make “regular” tomato sauce from them will have great results. (That would be like trying to make grape juice -or wine -from raisins.) Rather than trying that, I’d suggest looking for recipes more along the lines of “sun-dried tomato pesto”… and like basil pesto, thinning it out a little as needed when you sauce your pasta or whatever with a little of the cooking water, or a little broth, or cream, or other liquid…

@Sasha
I second the pesto option. But if you try what you suggested, let us know the result.

BTW, my paste was used to augment a can of diced tomatoes.

I don’t think I’ll do a marinara - that example was used because it is the clearest version of a recipe that uses whole tomatoes and little else. I was thinking of how I might be making my bolognese, minestrone, chili, with only 2 cans of chopped tomatoes left in the house. I’m trying to avoid going back to the store until I really need to.

Dehydrated gives you the opportunity to rehydrate with more flavor than water (or just water.) stock, wine, etc.

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It is my understanding that much, if not most, of the ingredients listed on the labels of canned, jarred, and frozen foods come from China. For reasons of storage and shipping cost, these are dried/dehydrated before sale, whenever possible. Even if that can or jar of tomato sauce you buy is made in America, its tomatoes and garlic and onions were probably grown and dried in China. So I wouldn’t worry about subbing for fresh or canned.

Really? Footnotes? I have in my head that most of the shipping is North-South to take advantage of the opposite seasons in the hemispheres. So in US markets, produce from South America off season.

Oh that I can confirm, the cheaper canned tomatoes and bottled tomato sauce. I saw a documentary here that the tomato were dripping and molding in the ship and then the truck, really disgusting. Maybe even frozen ones… read your label carefully.

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This north south travel is certainly true for the fresh produce.

But like raisins versus grapes (or prunes versus plums, or dried versus fresh chile peppers), the fundamental “flavor” of dehydrated tomatoes is very different than fresh (or canned, or even tomato products “concentrated/reduced from fresh” but not completely dried dehydrated, like tomato paste).

Makes sense, and why maybe using the dehydrated would work somewhere that tomatoes were not the main star, but part of an ensemble cast. That’s what my instinct says anyway. I’ll give it a try soon. I can’t do the bolognese or the chili for a little while, because as my youngest said, everything we’ve eaten in the last week has had beans or carrots in it. Which is true. I stocked up on both when we did our armageddon shopping.

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Good luck - I’m facing the opposite problem. My cans of tomatoes are definitely beyond the best if used by date… Kind of hoping not to get food poisoning or anything, this would be the worst time for that. Fingers crossed!

Best by and food poisoning are hugely different things.

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I can’t supply references, but I recall this from when melamine-tainted Chinese ingredients were poisoning dog kibble manufactured in the U.S. You may recall that there was a furor over the safety of Chinese ingredients in our food products. The vast quantity of American-made infant formula that Chinese tourists bring with them when they return to China after trips here shows that they don’t trust their own government to safeguard their agricultural products. I believe the bit about the ubiquity of dried imported Chinese ingredients was from a radio interview with Corby Kummer, the context being that even if you are buying an American-made food product, following the supply chain nearly always takes you to China. And when a label lists, say, garlic, it is probably powdered or dried, and from China.

If the ends of the your cans aren’t bulging and/or nothing “sprays out” when you open them, the contents are safe. If they’re really old (like, 5+ years past the best-before date), the quality may have suffered (they may have darkened and/or taste funky), but even they won’t hurt  you.

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