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.
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.
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 :
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.