Early fall is always a busy time for the home gardener, harvesting the last of summer’s bounty and preserving it for the coming winter months. Even if you don’t garden yourself farmer’s markets and roadside stands have an abundance of the end of season vegetables, among these are those wonderful vine ripened tomatoes. They are perfect for making into an abundance of sauces for winter.
We especially enjoy home canned pasta sauce. Here is our tried and true recipe for a thick and tasty sauce. You can add ground beef or turkey when you open the jar or customize to your family’s taste. I usually add a pound of ground beef, venison or turkey whichever I have on hand when I am making spaghetti.
Homemade Canned Pasta Sauce
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2hr Processing
Pressure canner: 25min
Water Bath: 45 min
141/2 lbs. of tomatoes (I like to use a very meaty paste or Roma variety of tomato)
4 large onions chopped (yellow or white onions will do)
5 bell peppers chopped (I use yellow, red and green peppers)
1 stalk celery chopped
2 hot peppers chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp.parsley flakes
1-12 oz can of tomato paste
3 Tbsp. salt
1 ½ c. sugar
2 tbsp. Oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp marjoram
1) Fill a large a pot or Dutch oven with water, bring to a low boil, with a slotted spoon or wire basket drop washed tomatoes in hot water for about 60 seconds (don’t leave them to long or they will get mushy) when you can see the skin start to crack open they are ready to remove from water.
2) Have a sink or large bowl of ice water ready to plunge the tomatoes into. The skin will easily slip off at this point. Quarter your tomatoes.
3) Place tomatoes in a large pot and begin cooking on a medium low temperature.
4) Chop peppers, onions, celery and mince garlic
5) Add some olive oil to the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven and lightly sauté the chopped vegetables.
6) Use some of the tomato juice out of you tomatoes add it to your vegetables, cook onions, peppers, celery, and garlic until soft. Put the cooked vegetables into a blender and blend lightly.
7) Add vegetables to the tomatoes and then add all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to keep the mixture at a simmer for thirty minutes. You may cook longer if it is not as thick as you would like.
8) Pour into sterile jars and process I use a pressure canner and process according to the Ball book directions adding 5 minutes for a higher altitude of 3000 ft elevation.
If you wish to water bath your sauce add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice to each quart jar to bring up the acidity level.
Yield: 7 Quarts
If you are unfamiliar with canning practices make yourself familiar with the Ball Blue Book read and follow all safety precautions. Many Farm Extension agencies offer free canning classes and are a great resource for food preservation practices.