Tomato Season is here! The daily pickings have increased from a bowl full to a bushel full – and that means it’s time to make and can our pasta sauce.  Along with salsa and tomato juice – it is probably the one item on the canning shelf we use the most.

pasta sauce
The finished product!

Here is our simple way to make and then can our pasta sauce so you can enjoy throughout the year.

This makes enough to can 6 to 7 quarts of pasta sauce.

pasta sauce
Fresh picked in the morning – a bowl of pasta sauce waiting to be made!

We start by filling an 8 quart stock pot to the top with our Roma paste tomatoes (usually about 40 to 50 Roma’s, depending on size). We clean and chop them in to 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces (skins and all) – and then put the pot on a medium heat setting and cook down for an hour or two. Once the tomatoes have cooked down (the pot will go from full to about 3/4 full during that time) – we run it through a food mill to remove all of the skins and seeds. You are left with about a little over half of a pot of thick tomato stock.

At this point we will add the remaining ingredients to the pot.  To speed up the cook down process – and to keep the sauce thick – we use our food processor to chop each of the garden fresh ingredients into a fine liquidy chop.  Here is what we add to our sauce :

Pasta sauce cooking down…
The jars set inside the pressure canner

2 cups of red wine (we prefer Merlot)
4 large green peppers (chopped in the food processor)
2 large red peppers (chopped in the food processor)
2 medium Cajun belle peppers (chopped in the food processor)
* we use the Cajun belles to give just a touch of heat – you can omit if no heat is desired
3 large sweet onions (Vidalia are best) (chopped in the food processor)
(2) 12 oz. can and (1) 6 oz. can of tomato paste
8 cloves of crushed garlic (chopped in the food processor)
(2) tablespoons of fresh basil (chopped in the food processor)
(2) tablespoons of fresh oregano (chopped in the food processor)
(2) tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley (chopped in food processor)
(1) tablespoon of salt
(1) tablespoon of garlic salt
(1/2) tablespoon of black pepper

Once all the ingredients are in the pot – we just let it simmer for a few hours to cook in all of that great garden flavor. This is a great time to do some taste testing and a little pinch of salt, pepper or other spices if needed. Then – we simply jar up into 6 to 7 quart canning jars and put into the pressure canner for 20 minutes.
When finished – you have 6 to 7 winter time meals waiting at your fingertips! We often will brown up a pound of hamburger, add some freshly grated parmesan / reggiano cheese and a little fresh spices into a pan – let it simmer in a crock pot and serve over our pasta of choice for a quick wintertime meal.

Mary and Jim

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Garden Fresh Pasta Sauce -Ready to Can
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of red wine (we prefer Merlot)
  2. 4 large green peppers (chopped in the food processor)
  3. 2 large red peppers (chopped in the food processor)
  4. 2 medium Cajun belle peppers (chopped in the food processor)
  5. * we use the Cajun belles to give just a touch of heat - you can omit if no heat is desired
  6. 3 large sweet onions (Vidalia are best) (chopped in the food processor)
  7. (2) 12 oz. can and (1) 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  8. 8 cloves of crushed garlic (chopped in the food processor)
  9. (2) tablespoons of fresh basil (chopped in the food processor)
  10. (2) tablespoons of fresh oregano (chopped in the food processor)
  11. (2) tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley (chopped in food processor)
  12. (1) tablespoon of salt
  13. (1) tablespoon of garlic salt
  14. (1/2) tablespoon of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Fill an 8 quart stock pot to the top with Roma paste tomatoes (usually about 40 to 50 Roma's, depending on size) that have been cleaned and chopped in 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces (skins and all).
  2. Turn the pot on a medium heat setting and cook down for an hour or two.
  3. Once the tomatoes have cooked down (the pot will go from full to about 3/4 full during that time) - run it through a food mill to remove all of the skins and seeds. You are left with about a little over half of a pot of thick tomato stock.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. To speed up the cook down process - and to keep the sauce thick - we use our food processor to chop each of the garden fresh ingredients into a fine liquidy chop.
  5. Once all the ingredients are in the pot - we just let it simmer for a few hours to cook in all of that great garden flavor. This is a great time to do some taste testing and a little pinch of salt, pepper or other spices if needed.
  6. Then - we simply jar up into 6 to 7 quart canning jars and put into the pressure canner for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Old World Garden Farms http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/

73 thoughts on “Canned Pasta Sauce Recipe – Fresh From The Garden

  • August 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm
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    I am currently using a “foley” type of food mill when prepping my sauce. What type of mill do you use? I’d like to leave less of the tomato pulp behind with the seeds. I tried a Norpro food strainer, but that made way too much of a mess.

  • July 14, 2016 at 5:18 pm
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    Can I ad meat to this and PC for meat times?

    • July 17, 2016 at 8:09 am
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      Hi Sonya – Because I never add meat, I would suggest you contact your local extension office for canning times. I would imagine if you PC for meat times it should work but recommend contacting a professional agency.

  • April 18, 2016 at 4:54 am
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    Like the recipe canned pasta sauce, except it uses canned tomato paste. I keep reading where that is “bad food” because of whatever is in the can. Do you know different? I read your page almost daily, could you comment of this? Thanks

  • March 18, 2016 at 5:28 pm
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    We have a small hobby farm in Canadafrom 1841

  • November 19, 2015 at 12:41 pm
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    Is tomato paste th same thing as tomato puree please? I’m in N.Ireland, U.K. we name things differently yoou see?!
    Thanks Heather.

  • November 19, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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    What is a crock pot please?
    I’m British & don’t use the same names for utensils etc.
    I really look forward to your newsletter & i can’t wait to see your house being built!
    Keep on doing what you do!
    Heather.

  • September 13, 2015 at 1:36 pm
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    When you say 40-50 Roma tomatoes, depending on size, how big are the Roma’s you use? My Roma’s vary in size and so when I was attempting the pasta sauce I used 55, and then even added more to equal around 70 Roma’s and it still didn’t fill my pot. I ended up with 4 pints of sauce that I just made into tomato sauce rather than pasta sauce.

  • September 12, 2015 at 3:25 pm
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    Would it be okay to freeze?

  • September 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm
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    Do you have to pressure can this? I don’t have one.

    • September 12, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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      I did a hot water bath for 35 minutes….then realized that your recipe stated pressure cook. I didn’t add an acid. What should I do?

  • August 27, 2015 at 12:50 am
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    Oh, and by the way, your sauce is divine, and totally aproved by my son! Thank you so much. Now if I only could solve the breaking container problem, I would be very happy and well set for the winter

  • August 27, 2015 at 12:48 am
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    Please help! I got the pressure canner, and have already used it few times. One of those times was for your pasta sauce. The first batch went fine. The second, one of the containers broke at the bottom while in the pressure pot. Why would that happen? It has happened the other time, when I pressure canned the bread and butter pickles. THe recipe called for the pressure canner, and one of the containers inside broke while cooking inside. The container with sauce, I cooked 10 min after I put the steamer attachment on. Why is this happening? What am I doing wrong? I am beginning to be scared to pressure can…..

    • August 27, 2015 at 7:38 am
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      Two primary causes of breakage are damaged jars (microscopic cracks, etc.) and thermal shock. You can’t put hot food in cold jars, hot jars in cold water or cold jars in hot water. Check out all the safe canning info from the National Center for Home Food Preservation at http://nchfp.uga.edu

      • August 27, 2015 at 11:01 am
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        Thanks, Lois! It must of been microscopic cracks, because there was no thermal shock, and they broke while inside, after about 10 min.Thank you, i was worried that maybe I kept it for too long, but if taht was the case, why one jar and not others?

  • August 8, 2015 at 4:23 pm
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    We went from a gas stove to a glasstop range and the first thing to go was my super heavy duty pressure canner. I got my Presto at Bed Bath and Beyond and love it – don’t even have to cover jars all the way with water!

  • July 19, 2015 at 1:48 pm
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    Debi, the first question you’ll have to answer is what kind of stove do you have? If you have a glasstop range, you need to look at your owner’s manual to see if the manufacturer recomhttp://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_press_canners.htmlmends pressure canner. If it does, you’re in luck! Most people can use Presto canners on their glasstop stoves. I’ve used them for decades on mine. I have both the 16-quart and 23-quart Presto canners and love them. They’re affordable, dependable and easy to use. They’re also widely available on Amazon, at Wal-Mart and probably at your local home/farm store. Pressure canning will open a whole new world of food preservation for you. Have fun!

  • May 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm
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    I was wondering …you said to process the sauce in the pressure canner for 20 mins at how many pounds? I haven’t ever used one but am thinking of getting one. Suggestions on a brand? Your recipe sounds great I can’t wait to try it.

  • September 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm
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    Thank you for this recipe! My first ever attempt at pasta sauce is in the canner thanks to you great folks! I don’t love the flavor of cooked peppers, so I substituted zucchini and celery in comparable amounts. And I added some garlic chives for some of the onion. Samples tasted great!! Thank you for your blogging work. I have learned so much from your efforts in sharing your experiences!

  • July 27, 2014 at 10:05 am
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    Ok, I have never made my own sauce though I am of Italian heritage lol. I have a question, When you are cooking the roma tomatoes in the first step, do you add water?

    • July 27, 2014 at 11:58 am
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      Stock and wine is a must. Brings out the flavors in the tomatoes.

    • July 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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      Hi Heidi – we let them simmer down to create their own sauce and do not add any water – usually we will add a bit of wine at the start to have a little liquid to start with.

  • July 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm
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    Do you have to use a pressure canner?

    • July 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm
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      Yes – for this sauce it is a must with all of the peppers and onions. that lower the acidity

  • July 14, 2014 at 8:48 am
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    Good morning! I just found you & I am very much enjoying your website. Your property is beautiful as is your lifestyle. We moved from our 20 + acre dream land to a small city lot – raised beds & a greenhouse quickly went up. We grow a good crop of fruits & vegetables & are expanding were we can find suitable space. I honed in on the above recipe as I recently made sauce from our abundant tomatoes. My sauce is quite tart because I added citric acid – 1 tsp per quart – as the instructions stated. I see that you did not add citric acid. Our sauce has to be doctored because it is simply too tart right out of the jar. You are still alive & well with no apparent symptoms of botulism! ; ] What do you know that I don’t? Thank you.

    • July 27, 2014 at 4:07 pm
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      Hi Audrey – so sorry I did not see this comment until now. Thank you for the compliments on the site and the property – we love it there! The secret for us is that we are pressure canning, and do not have to use the acid which really changes the flavor.

      • August 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm
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        I bought a pressure canner so I wouldn’t need to add lemon juice or citric acid when canning tomatoes and tomato sauces. However, the instructions that came with the canner say to add acid to the tomatoes, even with pressure canning. I started researching and found that the FDA and other food safety organizations say that acid must be added to tomatoes to remove the botulism toxins, even with pressure canning. I would much prefer to not use acid because I don’t want that flavor in my tomatoes. I did use your pasta sauce recipe (without adding acid) as my first use of my pressure canner. I also canned some tomato sauce (just tomatoes and a bit of salt) and didn’t use acid for that either. I would like to can some whole tomatoes but now I’m wondering if I’m posing a danger to my family by canning tomato products without the added acid. Do you use added acid when pressure canning any tomato products? If not, do you process tomato products longer than specified in recipes to account for the lack of added acid?

  • January 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm
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    Could we substitute something else for the wine?

    • January 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm
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      You can leave the wine out if you like – for us it just adds a little more depth to the flavor.

  • January 23, 2014 at 11:19 am
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    Can you use a hot water bath instead of a pressure cooker? Also if I don’t have a food mill are there any other options?

  • October 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm
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    I do not have a pressure canner. Is water bath OK?

  • September 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm
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    Do I need to add 5, 10 or 15 pound weight to pressure canner?

    • September 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm
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      We use 10 for our altitude and we are in Ohio. I am not sure where you are located?

      • September 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm
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        Thank you! I’m also in Ohio. First time pressure canning! Didn’t know so I used 5 but will redo it at 10.

  • September 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm
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    I only can my sauces similar to yours @10pds for 20 min. I’ve never had a problem !

  • September 4, 2013 at 8:35 am
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    Do you have a ballpark guess on how many pounds of tomatoes you use? My garden has Romas of all sizes, so saying 40-50 Romas could probably result in a 20 lb difference if I go with all big ones versus all small ones. Thanks!

    Also curious about the pressure you use on the canner for this recipe.

    • September 4, 2013 at 11:31 am
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      Brad – I would have to say that its probably around 25 to 30 pounds. And you are right – it is amazing how much difference in size they can be!

      • September 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm
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        Well, I packed my 8-quart stock pot with cut up Roma’s and some heirlooms from a friend and then I weighed it. Came in at 13.5 pounds. The sauce has been cooking a bit and the whole house smells amazing! I’m aiming for a thicker sauce and the hour is getting late, so I think it’ll sleep in the fridge and get reheated in the morning before going in jars. Thanks much for the recipe. Up next is your salsa picante …

  • August 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm
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    How many lbs. of pressure do you use in your canner?

  • July 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm
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    We use a Victorio to separate the peels ect got it last year and for sauces and salsa it is wonderful!!!

  • July 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm
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    I am wondering if this could be frozen instead of canned since I am not allowed to feed home canned goods to my daycare children.

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm
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      It freezes just as well – we simply don’t to have more room for other things in our freezer – so you should be good to go!

  • July 22, 2013 at 9:05 am
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    Since this is an acidic sauce it doesn’t have to be pressure canned does it? How long would you water bath it?

    • July 22, 2013 at 10:13 am
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      Becky – It is mainly acidic – but because of the garlic and peppers we have always pressure canned to be safe.

  • July 22, 2013 at 5:22 am
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    I am brand new to cooking…. no one really taught me. I learned to cook in a camp kitchen where most things are already in the can. So, dumb question…. how do I “cook down” tomatoes? Do I place the tomatoes in a pot on high? no liquid?

    • July 22, 2013 at 8:40 am
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      Not a dumb question at all, and glad you are beginning to cook – you will love it! Cooking down simply refers to placing them on medium to low heat and letting them slowly simmer down to reduce the liquid. You want a very slow simmer / boil to accomplish it the best way. With something as juicy as tomatoes – no liquid is needed – but make sure to smash the tomatoes down a bit to release enough liquid so that they don’t burn on the bottom when you first heat. Good luck!

  • March 9, 2013 at 11:26 am
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    Thank you for your wonderful blog! We live in the hot dry area of the southern interior of British Columbia and are usually overgrown with tomatoes each year. What type of food mill do you use to remove the tomatoes skins and seeds? TY Sandy

  • February 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm
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    Kirsty – Tomatoes, and tomato juice can be water bathed because by themselves, they are a low enough PH to be safe. When you start to add green peppers, onion, garlic, etc – the PH level changes and needs to be pressure canned to be safe. Hope that helps.

  • February 21, 2013 at 4:59 am
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    Can I please ask why you pressure canned it and not water bathed it?

  • September 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm
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    Made the sauce and smells delish!! Dont have a pressure canner what ate my other options. Other recipes say to add lemon juice would this help???

    • September 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm
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      Glad you were able to make it!! There are recipes out there that are for water bathing – and I do know that a lot of water bathing recipes add lemon juice. With that being said though, I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling you that it would work with ours – i just always pressure can it. You could opt for freezing it though 🙂 Hope that helps out – Jim

  • September 12, 2012 at 8:16 am
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    Yum we are hoping to do some canning this weekend and I can’t wait. Your sauce sounds yummy.

    • September 12, 2012 at 8:41 am
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      Good luck – you will have to let us know how it turns out!!!

  • August 16, 2012 at 6:58 am
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    The sauce looks delicious! I can’t wait to try. I dont’ own a pressure cooker 🙁 Do you have to cook it in a pressure cooker or can you cook it in the canner (perhaps boiling a little longer)…. Thanks for your help.

    • August 16, 2012 at 7:09 am
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      Thanks Melissa for the compliment – our kids really like it! Unfortunately – with all of the peppers and garlic and other lower acid ingredients – the sauce should really be pressure canned to be completely safe for storing.

      • August 16, 2012 at 7:15 am
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        Thank you for your reply. Maybe I’ll buy a pressure canner sometime. I’ll just have to find a good instruction book so I don’t blow up the sauce 🙂

  • August 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm
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    I canned pasta sauce this past weekend, too. We had a lot of Romas but some others thrown in also. I baked mine in a roasting pan in the oven because that’s how I do my apple butter. I know, that makes no sense at all! It looks delish!

    • August 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm
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      I actually had an aunt that did it close to that way – and she made great sauce! Thanks for stopping by.

  • August 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm
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    Okay, I realize this is of minor importance, but can I just say I LOVE those jars??? I didn’t buy them last year when I saw them, and now I can’t find them. 🙁 Do you know if there is a source other than WalMart? Your sauce looks so yummy in them!

    • August 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm
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      Hi Amy 🙂 I know – we have had so many comments on the jars – and now we cant find them either. Unfortunately – I think they are an exclusive to Wal Mart 🙁

      Jim and Mary

  • August 7, 2012 at 1:31 am
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    I love the idea of canning pasta sauce with garden fresh ingredients. Your sauce looks amazing!

  • August 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm
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    LOVE your recipe! thank you so much for sharing. I cannot wait to get canning

  • August 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm
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    Wow this looks so delicious! I have never used wine in processing ours so I will definitely try this….although I am at the end of our tomato season at this point but I might still get some locally somewhere! Thanks so much for linking up to “The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post” this week! 🙂

  • August 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm
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    Thank you for posting about this. Although it is winter here and no tomatoes in sight, I would love to have ago at making pasta sauce, been rummaging through my cook books for a receipe but no will save this post for reference.

    I have never cooked in a water bath or pressure canner but would like too, just need to pluck up the courage to have ago!

  • August 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm
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    I must try this one. We picked 2 bushels of tomatoes this week (not all Romas). Do you make salsa too? I am looking for a different recipe. Just not satisfied with any I have used. Janet

  • August 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm
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    Sounds great! My roma tomatoes are just beginning to ripen, so I’ll be dusting off the pressure canner soon!

  • August 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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    Looks and sounds delicious! Great to pull of the shelf on those cold winter days.

    • August 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm
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      You are so right Holly! if you cant be in the garden in the winter at least you can taste it!

      • September 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm
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        Is there any other tool to resemble a food mill that I might already have. I don’t have a food mill

        • September 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm
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          You can use a thin strainer and shake it through for a more rustic sauce. You will have a few seeds and skins get through though.

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