Preserving Tomatoes Recommendation #4: Basic Tomato Sauce
This sauce is our go-to sauce for everything. In the past I have made a couple different kinds of sauce each year, but when it comes down to only being able to choose one to make (like I'm having to do this year)- it's got to be this one.
The reasons we love it are many. Our top few are that it's a chunkier sauce (I've always preferred chunky over smooth) and that it's full of other veggies (carrots, peppers, onions) that the kids don't even realize they are eating. Also, there is no need to peel your tomatoes for this chunky sauce. Just chop them up and you're ready to go. The skins get lost in the sauce and you can't even tell you are eating them.
We use it for spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, you name it. Click here to see some pictures from last year.
Basic Tomato Sauce (Recipe from Simply In Season)
This should have a different name. Like, "Fabulous Chunky Garden Tomato Sauce".
This recipe yields about 3 pints. You'll want to make more. Italicized comments are mine.
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
1 tbsp. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tbsp. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
6 cups plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped (NOTE: I use Roma tomatoes and don't peel them)
6 ounces tomato paste
1 tbsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice or vinegar (see below)
Saute onion and garlic in 2 tbsp. oil until tender. Add carrots through herbs and stir well. Add tomatoes, paste, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve or freeze. To can, ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars (or quarts if you are canning a larger amount) to within 1/2 inch of top, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar per pint to assure acidity, seal with sterilized lids and process full jars in boiling water bath for 35 minutes.
Preserving Tomatoes Recommendation #5: Canned Salsa
Click here for last year's photos. This salsa is our favorite. We eat about half of what we make with tortilla chips and the other half when making Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos.
Canned Salsa (Recipe from Lee Good)
Yields about 6 pints. Italicized comments are mine.
1/4 cup olive oil
8 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced fine, without seeds (this adds a little heat, you can use less or more)
4 green bell peppers, diced
16 cloves garlic, minced
4 onions, chopped
3 tbsp. ground cumin
8 cups chopped and peeled tomatoes
4 tsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. salt
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
6 tbsp. white vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
(Keep the whole process moving- if the salsa cooks too long, it will get mushy) Saute the peppers, garlic and onions in oil until almost tender. Add cumin through salt and bring to a simmer. Add tomato paste, vinegar and cilantro and heat through. Bring back to a simmer and ladle into hot, sterilized jars to within a half inch of top, seal with sterilized lids and process full jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.