When the garden begins producing ripe tomatoes, peppers and onions we know that it is almost time to make and can Pasta Sauce.
This is the time of the year that we have been looking forward to for months. There is just something about picking that first ripe tomato and taking a bite while still standing in the garden.
The immense burst of flavor is everything that we have anticipated since planting day. And within a couple of weeks, we know there will be dozens of tomatoes ready to be picked.
That is when we know it is time to pull out our canning and preserving equipment. Our goal is to eat as many fresh tomatoes as we can and preserve the rest.
And in the middle of winter when we long for days that we could spend in the garden, at least there is a little bit of summer on our pantry shelf.
As we open those jars of canned goods, we take pride in knowing that the ingredients came from our garden.
However, if you don’t have the proper canning equipment, you can still make pasta sauce. Simply freeze the sauce instead of canning.
How To Make & Can Pasta Sauce
The first step in making any pasta sauce is to pick out your tomatoes. As with any tomato based sauce recipe, it is best to use paste tomatoes.
You will commonly find these at markets or in the grocery store labeled Roma or San Marzano tomatoes. And you may even find Amish Paste tomatoes as well.
Although you can use other varieties of tomatoes as well, you want to make sure to use at least 75% of paste tomatoes for this recipe.
Paste tomatoes contain less water and have a thicker wall base. Therefore, your canned pasta sauce will turn out thicker than if other types of tomatoes are used.
Peel & Remove Seeds
Now that you have your tomatoes, it is time to remove the skins and seeds. You can easily do this by dropping whole tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute.
Then immediately remove them from the hot water and place them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.
Once they are cool enough to handle, use a small knife to pierce the skin. Then use your fingers to peel the skin off of the tomatoes.
Next, cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds and excess juice by squeezing each side. Dice the tomatoes and place in a large stockpot.
Now remove the stems and seeds of the green and red peppers. Coarsely cut the peppers so that they fit inside a large food processor. We use a 12 cup capacity Hamilton Beach Duo Food Processor.
Now peel and coarsely chop the onion and garlic and add it to the food processor with the peppers. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped, but not pureed.
Add the mixture to the tomatoes. Next, add in the remaining pasta sauce ingredients and stir.
Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. All the pot to simmer until the sauce has reduced by 25%.
Prepare the Canning Jars
If you plan on canning the pasta sauce, prepare your quart size canning jars. Sterilize them and keep them warm until you are ready to can.
Although you may have been taught to warm your canning lids, there is no longer a need to heat them. In fact, it is recommended that with the Ball Sure Tight lids, that you do not warm them at all. Simply wash them and set aside.
Prepare your pressure canner per manufacturer’s instructions. Add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to the water to prevent the jars from spotting.
Once the sauce is reduced, ladle into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rim and add the lid and ring to finger tight.
Using a jar lifter place in a prepared pressure canner. Lock the lid in place and process at 10 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes. *Be sure to adjust for altitude as required.
When you are ready to remove the jars from your pressure canner (following your specific brand’s instructions), use your jar lifter and place on a thick towel.
Allow the canned Pasta Sauce to sit for 24 hours. Then check to make sure that the jars have sealed by pressing in the center of the lid. If it moves up and down, the jar did not seal and needs to be placed in the refrigerator.
The jars that did seal can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 18 months.
Mary and Jim
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Garden Pasta Sauce Recipe
Homemade pasta sauce made with fresh vegetables. Makes enough so that you can freeze or can it to enjoy any day of the year!
- 25 lbs of tomatoes at least 75% Paste tomatoes
- 4 large green peppers
- 2 large red peppers
- 3 large sweet onions
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of garlic salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
- 2 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
- 2 cups dry red wine
Wash, peel, de-seed and de-juice tomatoes. *Easily peel tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for one minute and then place them in an ice-water bath for one minute. The skins will easily peel off. Cut the tomato in half and squeeze out the seeds and excess juice.
Dice tomatoes into small pieces and place in a large stockpot on medium heat. Stirring frequently.
In a food processor, finely chop green and red peppers, onions, and garlic. Add to stockpot.
Mix in remaining ingredients and heat until boiling. Reduce and simmer until mixture reduces by 25% or to desired thickness.
Let cool and freeze in freezer safe container or process in pressure canner (leaving 1/2 inch of headspace) at 10lbs of pressure for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude accordingly.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms