The original recipe came from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration (I think it’s Volume 1 and it actually has a blue cover)- and I’ll post that first. Ben says that a recipe is never safe in my hands because I always modify it (and he’s right) so I’ll add my modifications after.
- 45 pounds tomatoes
- 6 cups chopped onions
- 12 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 6 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (optional)
- Bottled lemon juice
Wash tomatoes, drain. Remove core and blossom ends. Cut into quarters; set aside. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a large sauce pot. Add tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves, salt, black pepper and sugar. Stir in crushed red pepper, if desired. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Press mixture through a sieve or food mill; discard seeds and peels. Cook pulp in a large, uncovered sauce pot over medium-high heat until sauce thickens, stirring to prevent sticking. Reduce volume by half for a thick sauce. Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each quart jar – OR – t tablespoon lemon juice to each pint jar. Ladle hot sauce into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4″ head-space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 35 minutes (quarts 40 minutes) in a boiling-water bath canner. Yield 14 pints or 7 quarts.
Ok, so that was the original recipe. I’ve always like a really thick, flavorful sauce with lots of other veggies in it. And because I have a good sized vegetable garden, I always have an abundance of veggies on hand.
- No olive oil
- No salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 cups of chopped sweet bell peppers
- 1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves – chopped
- 6 cups total of chopped zucchini and yellow squash (quarter and cut out seedy center)
- 1 or 2 carrots – cut into 2 or 3″ chunks
- 6 celery stalks, diced to 1/4″ thick
Wash your tomatoes removing any blossoms and/or stems. Half or quarter if necessary. Assemble your Sauce Master and grind up your tomatoes (the Sauce Master automatically removes the skin and seeds and you are left with a beautiful, thick puree).
Put the puree into a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot.
Chop your onions, peppers, squash, etc., chunk up your carrots, and add to the tomato puree. Cook puree over medium heat until it starts to bubble, then reduce it to a simmer (or move it to a simmer burner, if you have one). Let this simmer several hours and then add your spices. You really do need to reduce the volume of puree by half for a really thick sauce. Throw out the carrot chunks before jarring your sauce.
Sterilize your canning jars (I run them through my dishwasher on a short wash cycle), just make sure that your dishwasher has a sterilize cycle.
Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each quart jar – OR – t tablespoon lemon juice to each pint jar. Ladle hot sauce into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 35 minutes (quarts 40 minutes) in a boiling-water bath canner. Yield 14 pints or 7 quarts.
NOTE: The carrots and the sugar help to reduce (in many cases eliminates) the natural acid in tomatoes – at least that’s what my Italian ex-grandmother-in-law told me.
Don’t get caught up/hung up on the quantities – and certainly don’t feel like you have to run right out and buy 45 pounds of tomatoes at the local farmers market! You can use smaller amounts without an issue and just gauge the quantities.
As for tomatoes – this year I got carried away – I have a total of 21 plants down in the garden – some Roma’s, a Big Boy, Jet Star, and an early variety that came from Burpee (and I don’t remember the name of them but I’ll find it and post it later).