Tomato sauce season is almost over, but there no need to fret. There is still time to prep yourself for a long year of pasta eating with your at home sauce. Use this simple recipe and you’ll be turning your fresh tomatoes into tomato sauce in no time.
What You Need To Make About 8 Pints:
15 pounds ripe tomatoes
1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt (optional)
6 1/2-quart or larger Dutch oven or stockpot
Knife and cutting board
Food processor or blender
Jars for canning or containers for freezing
- Bring a large Dutch oven or stockpot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a mixing bowl with ice and water and set this next to the stove.
- Core out the stems from the tomatoes and slice a shallow “X” in the bottom of each fruit.
- Drop several tomatoes into the boiling water. Cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, which usually takes about 60 seconds. Then lift the tomatoes out with a large spoon and dip them into the ice water. Continue with the rest of the tomatoes, transferring the cooled tomatoes from the ice water to another mixing bowl as they cool.
- When finished step 3, use your hands to strip the skins from the tomatoes. Discard the water used to boil the tomatoes.
- Pulse the tomatoes in the food processor. Pulse a few times for chunkier sauce, or process until smooth for a pureed sauce. Transfer each batch into the Dutch oven or stockpot. Process through a food mill for a smoother sauce. For a very chunky sauce, skip this step entirely and let the tomatoes break down into large pieces as they cook.
- Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering for about 30-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reaches the taste and consistency you like.
- When finished cooking, stir in the lemon juice or vinegar and salt. A quarter-cup is necessary to ensure a safe level of acidity for canning. Add more lemon juice or vinegar to taste.
- Preserving: 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. Alternatively, you can 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. Canned tomato sauce can be stored in the pantry for at least a year.
Looking to get the best tomatoes for your sauce season? Check out our Toronto garden centre today!