In 2005, I tried it for the first time. I've made it every year since. There were years that I dabbled with other sauces, but I always made a batch of this one. I've mellowed out as a canner and now stick to what I know we love and will eat. Those other recipes fell by the wayside and this is the only one that remains.
I found the recipe in Simply in Season Expanded Edition (World Community Cookbook). It's called Basic Tomato Sauce but, as I've said before, I don't think it's an appropriate name. Garden Tomato Sauce Extravaganza would be a more accurate name because of all the vegetables inside. Here are the top reasons why I love it (and why you should love it, too).
1) It tastes great. It has a very fresh garden taste even after sitting in the jar for months. It's seasoned, but isn't so heavy-on-the-herbs that they mask the taste of the tomatoes. It is tomato sauce after all.
2) You don't have to peel the tomatoes or put them through a food strainer!! This is an incredible time-saver and uses the whole tomato (closer to the way God intended it to be eaten, in my opinion). The tomatoes get chopped and cooked down in the pot. An immersion blender (or regular blender) makes those skins disappear into the sauce- there is no evidence of them at all (by sight or by taste).
3) Because there is no peeling and no straining involved, it is a one-pot sauce. This means less pots, pans and equipment to wash up.
4) It's loaded with vegetables- carrots, green peppers, onions, and garlic. Your kids will have no idea they are eating so many veggies while they scarf down pizza or spaghetti. A tablespoon of white vinegar is added to each pint jar just before filling it to ensure the proper acidity, so there is no need to worry about the additions of the other ingredients to the sauce.
5) Because of the addition of the vegetables and the fact that the tomatoes don't languish in scalding water (for peeling purposes), very little water/juice needs to be cooked off. This means energy isn't wasted to cook the sauce down.
6) It works great for everything- pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, baked ziti, you name it. There's no need to make separate sauces for separate dishes. Unless you have plenty of time on your hands (which I don't).
So there you have it. I know everyone is partial to their own sauce recipe, but in case you're in the market to try something new or like what you've read, I highly recommend this one (in case you missed my recommendation thus far :-)).
Three hundred eighty-five (385) pints later (since 2005), it's still the one.