DownComment IconEmail IconFacebook IconGoogle Plus IconGrid IconInstagram IconLinkedin IconList IconMenu IconMinus IconPinterest IconPlus IconRss IconSave IconSearch IconShare IconShopping Cart IconSpeech BubbleSnapchat IconTumblr IconTwitter IconWhatsapp IconYoutube Icon

Our favorite paste tomatoes

Kimberley Burch 'San Marzano' tomato
These beauties are best for sauces and sun-drying

Good paste tomatoes are seedless (or nearly so), meaty, and on the dry side―qualities that also tailor them perfectly to sauces and sun-drying. Some have good enough flavor to be used (and sold in supermarkets) as slicers.

'Roma' is the classic paste tomato, but in the tastings we attended, full-flavored 'San Marzano' and sweet 'Viva Italia' came out ahead. At 3 ½ inches long, 'San Marzano' is bigger than 'Roma' and has some resistance to late blight. 'Viva Italia' is a determinate type (it grows to a certain height, then stops), so all the fruit comes to harvest at about the same time. (That's a clear advantage for anyone who wants to do all their harvesting and canning on the same weekend.) And it's very sweet and disease-resistant. 'Principe Borghese' is particularly favored as a drying tomato.