Anybody else growing tomatoes in their back yard this summer? We’ve got a big tomato plant on our back porch that is just starting to produce some sweet, amazing organic tomatoes. At this time of year, I like to put my “do-it-yourself” hat on and make a few batches of tomato sauce. The sauce is then canned and used throughout the year. I love canning… it gets me in touch with how my great grandmother did things on her farm in Nebraska. Cooking and preparing foods the old fashioned way satisfies something inside of me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. It’s also a great, economical way to enjoy high quality organic seasonal produce throughout the whole year. There is really no comparison between opening a store-bought can of sauce versus a batch of home-canned roasted tomato sauce.
This is my basic recipe for roasted tomato sauce. You don’t have to can it the sauce you don’t want to go through the hassle; I’ve linked to a pressure canning tutorial below for those who are interested. Keep in mind that I’ve purposely kept the flavor somewhat neutral here… this is not a marinara. It’s a simple roasted tomato sauce which you can enhance with herbs and spices based on what you’re cooking. I like to add fresh basil and garlic for a simple pasta sauce, cayenne and pepper flakes to spice things up, or Middle Eastern spices and peppers for a simple shakshuka base. Think of it as a roasted tomato canvas… just add your favorite herbs and spices to create a flavor masterpiece!
For more on home canning, check out these tutorials:
For more yummy tomato recipes, here are some great ideas from my food blogging friends:
Weelicious: Roast Cherry Tomatoes with Olives and Bowties
What’s Gaby Cooking: Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Tomatoes
Beard and Bonnet: Slow Roasted Caprese Tomatoes and Black Pepper Pasta (Gluten & Dairy Free)
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- 7 lbs whole ripe tomatoes
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 3 3/4 tsp sugar (cuts acidity of the tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
You will also need
- Mixing bowls, foil, sheet pan(s), food mill, large sauce pot, 2- 1 quart canning jars, ladle, wide mouth funnel, tongs, pressure canner, jar lifter
- Before you begin, sterilize your jars using the boiling water bath method. Simmer the lids in a small saucepan until ready to use. This recipe will fill two quart jars, depending on how far you cook and reduce it (reducing the sauce more to thicken it will render less sauce).
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss the tomatoes with 2 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt.
- Place the tomatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with foil or a silpat. You may need more than one sheet pan.
- Roast in the oven for 1 hour.
- Transfer the roasted tomatoes a large mixing bowl and smash with a wooden spoon. This will help them to pass through the food mill more easily.
- Run the smashed tomatoes through a food mill. Turn the handle in both directions to make sure that you are extracting as much juice and tomato flesh as possible.
- Once you have finished with the food mill, place tomatoes in a large sauce pot and add the sugar and remaining salt and olive oil. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and reduced to a texture you like. You can cook it for an hour or even longer for a very thick sauce (keep in mind you'll end up with less sauce the longer you reduce it!).
- Using a wide mouth funnel, ladle the sauce into your canning jars.
- Remove the lids from the sterilizing saucepan using tongs or a magnetic lid lift.
- With a clean paper or dish towel, clean the rims of your jars.
- Place the lids on the jars and seal with the bands using just your fingertips so that they are not too tight.
- Process your jars using the pressure canning method - click here for details - at 11 lbs for 15 minutes.
- After 24 hours you can remove the bands and test your seals by lifting the jar, by the lid, a few inches from the counter top. Jars with good seals can be kept in a cool dark place for up to a year. If the seal is broken, store in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.