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Hey there! On Tuesday I tackled the project of canning a half bushel of tomatoes (fresh from my mama’s garden) into tomato sauce. It was quite the project and I got a lot of pots and pans dirty, but it will be well worth it to enjoy the fresh taste of garden tomatoes in sauces, soups, and as pizza sauce this winter and fall!
I grew up canning with my mom. Each fall and late summer for as long as I can remember our house went into canning mode and my mom has literally canned thousands of quarts of produce! I learned from the best and canning is a safe way to preserve delicious fruit and vegetables for the rest of the year. If you’re interested in more step-by-step canning guides see How to Can Peaches, How to Freeze Sweet Corn, and How to Freeze Blueberries. Of course, the Bible of food preservation is the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, I’d highly suggest it if you’re going to be canning frequently.
For canning tomato sauce you will need the following supplies:
Large pot for cooking sauce
How Water Bath Canner and canning accessories (this kit is similar to what I have)
½ bushel tomatoes
1 large onion
1/3 cup salt (start with less and then add more to taste)
1 cup brown sugar
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
5 teaspoons oregano
5 teaspoons basil
4 – 16oz cans tomato paste
Bay leaves (one per pint jar) optional
Step 1: Finely chop the onion and peppers in a food processor. Set aside in a bowl
Step 2: Wash tomatoes. Drop them into a pan of boiling water, maybe for 30 seconds, then into a sink of cold water. Cut off the tops and skin them. The skin should peel off easily.
Step 3: Put tomatoes into a blender and puree in batches. Add 1 can tomato paste to batches before pureeing to make blending easier. If necessary run through a colander to get rid of the seeds. If using Italian type tomatoes (Romas) this step is not necessary.
Step 4: Combine remaining ingredients with tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until desired thickness in obtained. Or add more tomato paste to desired thickness.
(Because I didn’t have on pot big enough for all the sauce I had to divide my sauce into three pots. Just keeping it real, you guys. 🙂 )
Step 5: Rinse clean jars in hot water. Pour tomato sauce into jars using a funnel. Wipe rim of each jar. Place lids on top and screw on jar rings tightly.
Step 6: Place jars in hot water canner. Fill with water until the jars are just covered. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, boil for 40 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. Remove from water with jar lifter.
Step 7: Allow to cool and seal. Remove rings and store in cool dry area. The sauce will settle a little and have more watery sauce on the boottom and thicker on top, that’s okay, just give it a little shake before serving. Canned goods are generally good a year. They can hold longer, just use your senses: taste, smell and good ole common sense. 😉
My half bushel made 17 pints of tomato sauce. I am planning on using my tomato sauce to make all kinds of pasta dishes: lasagna, spaghetti, cavatini, plus it will be my pizza sauce for homemade pizza! I’m also planning on throwing it into my favorite chili and taco soup recipes! It’s definitely versatile!
Have you canned before? What is something you would love to try canning?