- 30 lbs of tomatoes (I used a combination of Roma and regular beefsteak)
- 12 – 15 gloves of garlic
- 2 white onions
- fresh basil, parsley, and other seasonings to taste
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 1/2 – 2 cans of tomato paste to help thicken the sauce
Step 1 – Remove the skin from the tomatoes. If you have a sauce maker, now is the time to use it. I don’t have a sauce maker, so I make my sauce like my grandmother. I remove the skin from the tomatoes by blanching them, and immediately placing them in a large bowl of ice water. Click here for instructions on how to Blanche Tomatoes.
Step 2 – Place the skinless tomatoes into a large bowl. Squeeze the tomatoes into small pieces. Seeds and all. Yep, that’s my clean hands in the bowl (below) squeezing those tomatoes into pieces. Wear gloves if your allergic or feel more comfortable, but I mix my sauce and potato salad in this manner.
Breaking the tomatoes into pieces helps the sauce to cook down faster. Secondly, it keeps the sauce from getting too thick. I like a little movement with my sauce. I can always thicken it later with paste depending on what dish I am preparing. I’ll show you how to make your own paste in a later post.
Step 3 – You can bypass this step if you don’t mind having seeds in your sauce. If you want to remove them proceed with this step. Place a colander into a large bowl or pan. Place cups of the sauce mixture into the colander and press the sauce down with a spoon until the seeds and juice run out into the bowl. The holes in the colander will be large enough for it to pass through.
To remove the seeds from the juice you will need a fine wire, strainer. The strainer should allow the juice to run through, but small enough to hold the seeds. Pour the juice into the strainer to remove the seeds. Once you get a rhyme going, it doesn’t take long.
Add the juice back into the tomato meat and repeat until you have the majority of the seeds removed from the juice and meat of the tomatoes. You won’t be able to remove 100% of the seeds, but that’s okay, The seeds enhance the flavor and you won’t even know they’re in the sauce. That’s why I don’t have a sauce maker, I am the sauce maker as grandma used to say!
Step 4 – Chop the garlic and onion into fine pieces. If you have a chopper use it, it will save you time. (You can also prepare the garlic and onion ahead of time.) Cover the bottom of the stock pot with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and heat until it’s hot. Add the garlic and onion, cook until tender, 2 -3 minutes. Be careful not to burn it, it will ruin your sauce. Stir it constantly. Homemade sauce is about the garlic, onions and fresh herbs. Besides the love that goes into it, it’s what separates it from the grocery store sauces.
Step 5 – Pour in the tomato mixture and bring to a boil.
Once it reaching the boiling point, lower the heat. Add your ingredients gradually until you reach desired taste. Next gradually add in your paste. I only add 1.5 cans of paste to my sauce with 2 cups of sugar. You may like the taste of 2 cans and less sugar.
Cover your pot and simmer 4 – 5 hours. Be sure to stir it constantly. You want to make sure the tomato pieces, garlic and herbs don’t fall to the bottom of the pot and stick. The longer you cook it, the thicker the sauce will become. You will want to taste the sauce throughout the cooking process to determine if you want to add more herbs, sugar or additional paste to thicken it.
You can freeze the sauce or can. Because I don’t have room in my freezer I choose to can my sauce. I prepared my jars and can the sauce according the directions included with my canner. I placed 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of Himalayan pink or canning salt in the bottom of my quart jars.
Next, I hot pack the jars with the sauce and water bath them for 45 minutes. After sitting overnight to ensure the jars seal, they are ready for the pantry.
Save money by freezer or canning homemade tomato sauce for the winter. The sauce takes time, so enjoy a glass of wine or play with the kids for awhile. My grandchildren love it. Do you make home made sauces? What’s your favorite sauce?