Tomato Powder Is The Acidic Ingredient Your Pasta Salad Needs

Some dishes just aren't the same without a bold, tomato flavor. Often derived from tomato paste, the ingredient gives a rich zest to everything from lasagna to chili. Yet for dishes like pasta salad that don't benefit from the liquid in tomato paste, turn to tomato powder instead.

Tomato powder functions as a dry alternative to tomato paste. Packed with the same concentrated taste, it peppers dishes with an intense, savoriness. It's also more versatile than tomato paste; depending on how much water you add, it can be anything from a thick paste for baked beans to a thinned-out sauce that's perfect for homemade pizza. That said, tomato powder shines best in its dry form.

Without the water from fresh tomatoes, the rich, sweet flavors of the fruit are intensified. The powder form allows you to sprinkle it onto any dish, particularly pasta salads. If you're out of cherry or sun-dried tomatoes, or simply want the flavor without having to add them to the salad, tomato powder is the best choice. You can sprinkle it onto the finished salad, stir it into the dressing, or toss the salad ingredients in the powder before adding them to the pasta.

Add tomato powder to these zesty pasta salads

Apart from the rich flavor and sweet flair, tomatoes are known to possess an umami quality. To amp up the savory flavor in panzanella-style beef and noodles summer salad, season it with tomato powder. The salad already calls for a few tomatoes, but if you want a stronger flavor, a dash of tomato powder will do the trick without affecting texture. Use it to season the pieces of ribeye before cooking them or add a teaspoon or two of tomato powder to complement the red miso in the tangy dressing.

Tomato powder also complements the light, earthy flavors in a veggie antipasti Italian pasta salad. The salad is filled with artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and hearts of palm, and tomato powder brings a bolder side to all those ingredients. To get the flavors to mesh together, toss the rotini pasta in the tomato powder once it's cooked. You can also add a sprinkle of it to the herbaceous dressing for good measure.

Made with black beans, chipotle peppers, and fire-roasted corn, all that's missing from a standard southwest pasta salad is tomato powder. The robust taste of the powder gives the salad a chili-like flavor, deepening all the ingredients with only a tablespoon or two. Add tomato powder to a bowl with mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, and other spices for a dressing that's equally creamy and bold.