Recipe courtesy of Barbara Shinn and David Page

Famous Tomato Ketchup

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  • Total: 3 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 3 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 3 quarts
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2 large onions, sliced about 2/3-inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (packed) dark brown sugar

10 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 cup capers with their brine

1/4 cup hot red pepper sauce

1 tablespoon Home Spice Mix, recipe follows

3/4 teaspoon mild paprika

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes

2 (12-ounce) cans tomato paste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Home Spice Mix:

1/3 cup cumin seeds

1/3 cup coriander seeds

1/3 yellow mustard seeds


  1. Preheat the broiler. Toss the onion slices with the olive oil and broil them until charred, about 8 minutes on each side.
  2. Put the onions and all the remaining ingredients in a deep heavy nonreactive pot. Simmer uncovered over low heat for about 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes to break up the tomatoes and to keep the ketchup from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The mixture will thicken.
  3. Puree the ketchup in batches in a food processor or blender. If the puree seems too thin, return it to the pot and simmer until it is as thick as you like it. This ketchup keeps well refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.

Home Spice Mix:

Yield: 3/4 cup
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds and toss occasionally until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool, and repeat with the coriander seeds and then the mustard seeds. Be careful that the spices don't burn. You'll know that they're done when a toasty, nutty aroma rises out of the pan. When the seeds are cool, coarsely grind them together in a spice grinder or in a mortar with pestle.