I was blessed with ALOT of tomatoes again, from my friend Tony Tomato. Winecoach and I went to work, because there is really nothing better than homemade tomato sauce from scratch! We make it every year, and whole time consuming there is no secret. This is how to quickly make it.
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO SAUCE FROM SCRATCH
- 12-15 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt (optional)
- 6 1/2-quart pot or stockpot
- Deep Mixing bowls
- Slotted spoon or Tongs
- Knife and cutting board – My go to is Nakano knife – use code “ANA” for a discount.
- Food processor or blender
- Mason jars, sterilized for canning, or containers for freezing
- Boil a pot of water and prepare ice bath. Bring a large (6 quart) pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set this next to the stove. I placed mine right underneath and even had a second bath going because I was quickly running out of ice!
- Prepare the tomatoes for blanching. Core out the stems from the tomatoes and slice a shallow “X” in the bottom of each fruit.
- Blanch the tomatoes to peel them. Working in batches, drop 3-5 tomatoes (depending on its size) into the boiling water. Cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, 45 to 60 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, lift the tomatoes out and place them in the ice water. Continue with the rest of the tomatoes, transferring the cooled tomatoes from the ice water to another large bowl as they cool.
- Peel the tomatoes. When finished blanching, use your hands or a paring knife to strip the skins from the tomatoes. Discard the water used to boil the tomatoes.
- Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Working in batches, place the tomatoes in the food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times for chunkier sauce, or process until smooth for a puréed sauce.
TIP: If you’re working assembly line style, one of you can core the tomato and place an X on the bottom, one can drop in the pan and remove to ice bath, and one can peel and blend. Winecoach and I did that! Alternatively, chop the tomatoes by hand. For a smoother sauce, process through a food mill. For a very chunky sauce, skip this step entirely and let the tomatoes break down into large pieces as they cook. Transfer each batch into the another large pot or stockpot. I used 2 different pots!
- Simmer the tomatoes. Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reaches the taste and consistency you like, between 1-2 hours.
- Stir in the lemon juice and salt. Stir in at least 1/4 cup of the lemon juice or vinegar and salt per 6 quart pot. A 1/4 cup is necessary to ensure a safe level of acidity for canning. Add salt to taste, around 2 tbsp per pot. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt and/or vinegar as needed.To the bottom of each jar, add one garlic clove and 1-2 fresh basil leaves.
Transfer the hot sauce into sterilized canning jars. Top with new, sterilized lids, and screw on the rings until finger tight. Process in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter — if any lids do not seal completely (the lids will invert and form a vacuum seal), refrigerate that sauce and use it within a week or freeze it for up to 3 months. Canned tomato sauce can be stored in the pantry for at least 1 year. That’s what I usually do but they never last that long because we go through them quickly.
- Preserving Option – Freezing – Let the sauce cool, then transfer it into freezer containers or freezer bags. Sauce can be kept frozen for at least 3 months before starting to develop freezer burn or off-flavors.
Here is a show and tell in pictures!
I hope you make your own tomato sauce. It’s ALOT of fun and actually quite simple. It does take time but it’s something enjoyable to do as a family. Plus it gives you a true sense of accomplishment during and after, when you get to use your homemade sauce!
Recipe adapted from the kitchn – https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-basic-tomato-sauce-with-fresh-tomatoes-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193622