I finally made my homemade tomato sauce!
Y’all we are finally getting into my favorite time of year. Making my own homemade tomato sauce made from my homegrown tomatoes brought me so much joy. I was finally reaping the products of my toils
If you know anything about me you will know that watching my mom make her homemade tomato sauce every year makes me so excited. I love canning. I love getting to preserve things that I worked hard to grow for winter when they won’t be growing. My mom usually makes about 7 to 10 jars of pasta sauce each year. (She uses cleaned out pasta jars from the store to can.)
While this may not be enough to last the whole winter, it gets us easily 12 to 15 meals. That’s enough for one a week, which isn’t too bad.
My mom recently used her pasta sauce to make my family’s Thanksgiving lasagna. That’s right, no turkey here! My family goes all Italian and skips the bird. I didn’t partake, because of the cheese, but I know they enjoyed it.
I made some spaghetti with beans with some of my sauce. I made just shy of 3 quarts of sauce. I used up the one that wasn’t full enough to process over the course of a week.
My recipe is super simple! I got it out of a Ball recipe book that my mom and I have had for years.
While the recipe is simple, the process takes a long time. It’s usually a two or three day process depending on how much you are processing. For my five quart bags of tomatoes it took two days.
To start you have to thaw and cook down your tomatoes. This took a little longer for me, because mine were frozen. (I highly recommend freezing your tomatoes over the course of the season to make sauce at the start of fall.) After that I run my tomatoes through a food mill. I use the medium size strainer. This leaves you with just the juices. All of the seeds and skins will be left behind in the mill.
Then it’s time to cook down the sauce. This is what takes the longest. Depending on how thick you want your sauce it should reduce by about half. I bring my sauce to a simmer while it’s reducing. If I’m in a time crunch I may boil it, but taking your time is the way to go.
I season my sauce with some homegrown herbs. I use dried rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, and oregano. I use about a tablespoon of each for a pot this size.
It’s important to keep stirring your sauce while it cooks down. Otherwise it can stick to the bottom of the pot. Be sure to plan on dedicating a few hours so your sauce. It may take a lot of time out of your schedule, but once you get through the process of cooking the sauce down, it’s so worth it.
Finally, it’s time to process! The recipe I used calls to add lemon juice to the jar and then the sauce. It’s important that the acidity is high enough so the sauce doesn’t spoil while it’s in storage.
It’s also important that you have the correct headspace. The amount of air in the jar also plays into it storing long term properly.
Once you have finally processed your jars and they’ve sealed take a step back and marvel at your works. The result is amazing! Your sauce can create amazing meals for your family.
I hope that if you find yourself with some extra tomatoes from your garden that you give sauce making a try. It’s not as hard as it may seem. I know you can do it.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog! Whether you stay a day, a week, a month, or a year, I appreciate you. -Kate