Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saucing It

The other day we made our first batch of Basic Tomato Sauce (from Simply In Season).  Our tomatoes are doing really great.  The blossom end rot has abated and they are coming in fast.  In past years, I've made a couple different kinds of sauce.  I'm wiser this year and have decided to stick with the sauce we all like best. This one recipe is what I use for everything- pizza sauce, pasta sauce, lasagna, etc.  Here is why I love it...

1.  It's packed with veggies, so while the kids are happily eating their Friday night pizza, their mom (me) is thrilled at all the vegetables they are eating unknowingly.  Hee hee hee.

2.  I love how it can be left a chunky sauce or pureed smooth.  I like to make batches of each.  A hand blender works perfectly for this.

3.  It uses honey as it's sweetener.

4.  Get this.  You don't have to peel the tomatoes.  I'll repeat myself.  You don't have to peel the tomatoes.  Thank you, Carmen, for enlightening me last year.  Believe me, if you puree the sauce, you'll never know the skins are there.  Never.

5.  It tastes fresh and richly saucy at the same time.

If you've never canned before, PLEASE read this post for everything you need to know about the process.

Then, go here for the recipe.

I multiply the recipe by 8.  That's the most that will fit in my large (16 quart) cooking pot.  There is quite a bit of prep work involved for this sauce, but don't let that scare you.  I start chopping the ingredients in the couple days before I plan to make it and refrigerate everything.  When I'm ready, I just dump, cook down and can.  Here's a look at what this sauce looks like at each stage...

Starting with the main characters: onions (already in the pot), carrots, tomatoes, garlic, green bell peppers, basil, oregano, and parsley.

 25 pints

Two more batches like this and we're set.
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  1. I have been wanting to make this sauce, but I don't quite have all I need ingredient wise. I don't have any tomato paste on hand....and usually not enough of the 'plum' category of tomatoes. Maybe I will start freezing my Amish Pastes until I have enough for a batch or two of sauce.

    I am glad you posted on this recipe, I have been mulling over what to try next. I made Bruschetta Preserves last week. It will be enjoyed in the Winter, but the tomatoes taste like the vinegar they are canned in, so that garden fresh tomato taste is lost on that particular recipe.

    Thanks for posting so many garden recipes, your blog has given me so many ideas recently!

  2. Mmmmm, you know I want to run into my kitchen and make what I see after coming here every time, don't you? I still haven't tried canning you think this would freeze well in ziploc freezer bags?

  3. kelleysbeads, I think you could freeze it no problem. I would let it cool completely and then freeze it in freezer containers versus bags. Less chance of holes and they stack/store so much nicer:-).

  4. Do you make your own paste? Theoretically couldn't I just use tomatoes and cook a little longer? I just love to read your blog, I am normally a silent friend, but I thank you silently often!

  5. Can you use regular tomatoes and not peel them? I have a giant box of beefsteaks that I am trying to find something to do with...

  6. Anonymous, I don't make my own paste. While I love the idea, it's a little too much for me to think about doing right now- maybe one day. As far as substituting tomatoes for paste, you could do that. Just plan on cooking it down for quite a bit longer and squeeze out as much juice as you can. It may not taste exactly the same as with the paste, but there's no reason to think it still wouldn't taste great.

    Mrs. Teasley, I throw in a few regular tomatoes if I'm I'm short on the Romas. It works fine- I find that squeezing out as much juice as I can really helps. It shortens the cook down time significantly. I say, go for it!

  7. I'm going to have to check out this recipe! It sounds great!

  8. I forgot to ask in my previous post if you had ever tried the Bruschetta Preserves (from SIS) yourself. :)

  9. I'm getting my tomatoes next week. Thanks for the recommended recipe. I did puree tomatoes last year for the first time and then froze them - so EASY. But my go-to method of handling tomatoes is to skin them, squish them whole down into jars and then water bath them.
    I'm amazed that you're planning to do 75 pints! You go, girl!

  10. Thanks! I'll give it a go. :-)

  11. Kelly, I haven't tried that recipe. I tried a recipe for "bruchetta" from my Ball canning book and it turned out okay, but we weren't super impressed. I might have to give the SIS one a try. If I can still stand the sight of tomatoes after my list is done, that is:-).

  12. What a gorgeous yummy blog post! Thank you!

  13. That is the way we are feeling about the bruschetta- not super impressed. Nothing like the fresh stuff I guess. Best of luck getting through your list! :)

  14. That looks great. I am a little surprised that it calls for water-bath canning when there are so many low-acid foods added to the tomatoes and no additional acid.

  15. Lily Girl, The recipe actually does call for vinegar or lemon juice. You are to add it to your jars after the sauce- 1 tbsp. per pint and 2 tbsp. per quart. This increases the acidity, making up for all those veggies:-).

  16. Oh, yup, I see that now. I had just looked at the ingredient list :)

  17. I just made this and LOVE it! Round one I chopped all the veggies by hand. (Going for uniformity.) Round two, I used the food processor (since I planned on pureeing it anyway). Let me tell you, I will never forsake the food processor again! It took a quarter of the time and tasted just as great! Thank you for such a versatile recipe!


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