After putting up 37 jars of diced tomatoes we were on to tomato sauce. We figured that we would do a small batch of sauce as an immediate go to – after all these tomatoes we figured we weren’t going to want to making sauce in the near future!
This tomato sauce was a huge hit at our house. Stella tried it on her tortellinis and told me it was the best sauce she had ever had and that I really needed to write a cook book! I will take that as a “2 thumbs” up review!
Roma tomatoes, or other variety
Bacon fat, olive oil, lard or other oil to saute in
Quart canning jars and lids
2 large soup pots
Cast iron pan
Immersion blender or regular blender
Many of the first steps are the same as the steps for canning diced tomatoes. You can also start this with your canned diced tomatoes and skip the steps of skinning the tomatoes and adding the basil and lemon juice.
1. Fill your canning pot and start that heating up – it takes a long time to come to a boil.
2. Fill another soup pot with water and bring to a boil.
3. Fill your sink with cold water and ice.
4. Clean and sterilize your jars, either in a dishwasher or in a water bath – cleaning your jars first in the sink.
7. With your paring knife remove the “belly button” (where the stem was) and remove the skin. The skin should come off easily, if not place back in the boiling water for a few second. Place the tomatoes in a colander.
9. Chop the tomatoes up and place in a large soup pot.
12. As your pan is heating, chopped up several onion and add to the pan – slowly cooking until translucent.
15. Place the pot of tomatoes on a burner and heat – you don’t want to bring to a boil, you want to slow simmer to thicken it and cook the tomatoes. Add several bay leaves. Stir occasionally so that the bottom does not burn.
16. Once the tomatoes have cooked down some, take out the bay leaves and using your immersion blender puree the sauce to a consistency of your liking. If you do not have an immersion blender you can puree in batches in your blender, but allow the tomatoes to cool slightly.
17. Place your tops into a saucepan and heat the water, but do not boil. Let the tops sit in the water for at least 10 minutes – this will sterilize them and make the rubber sticky.
18. Place a funnel over the mouth of the jar and fill to within 1/4″ from top of jar. Wipe the mouth of the jar clean then place the lid and ring on.
19. Place the jars into your water bath,using a jar grabber and bring back to a boil and process for 40 minutes (3,000 ft altitude). Remember to make adjustment for your altitude.
20. Take the jars out of the canning pot and place on a dish cloth lined counter. You should hear the popping of the jars – this is the jar sealing. If the jar does not seal, turn it over for 20 – 30 minutes and it should seal – if not those are the jars you use first.
It will be hard to go back to store bought sauce after you make your own. So worth it!!