Tomato puree is a cooking essential you might be missing. Simpler and a bit thicker than its flavorful cousin, tomato sauce, tomato puree is a fast way to quickly prepare and freeze a bushel of fresh tomatoes for future cooking. Tomato puree can be turned into tomato sauce or tomato soup. It can be used to cook rice for a colorful side dish, or cooked with rice and seafood for a showstopping paella. Oh, and it's a great base for homemade barbecue sauce.