Saturday, September 17, 2011

Making Tomato Sauce





Other ingredients needed


Tomato Sauce

20 to 25 cups of tomato sauce
4 cups of shredded zucchini (washed and then shredded)
2 cups of shredded carrots (peeled, washed & then shredded)
2 cups green bell peppers (washed, seeded and chopped)
2 cups onions (peeled and chopped)
Fresh Basil (2 tablespoons chopped or to taste)
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 to 2 teaspoons hot ground chili pepper (or ground cayenne pepper) (or omit if you don't like spice)
1/8 cup to 1/4 cup salt (or to taste but BE CAREFUL - this sauce will cook down and become somewhat concentrated and therefore more salty - I always use less salt)


1.  First - prepare the tomatoes and run them through the Tomato Strainer


Tomato sauce after running through the tomato strainer and before adding the other vegetables

2.  Now prepare all the other vegetables as described above (wash, shred & chop).  Place all these vegetables (zucchini, carrots, pepper, onion) and the herbs, sugar and salt (remember - be careful with the salt) into the tomato sauce and stir.
3.  Bring the sauce to boil and then cook down (on low heat) for about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours (or until desired thickness is achieved).  IMPORTANT:  You must stir often to prevent burning and if needed turn the heat down a little.


Sauce has been cooked down for at least 1 hour.

4.  Gather your canning jars, lids and rings (you will need 7 or 8 quarts).  Canning Basics - Jar Sizes.  Also, gather all other canning supplies:  Other Canning Supplies   NOTE:  You should start sterilizing your jars and lids about halfway through the "cooking down" process of the tomato juice.
5.  Start the water boiling for Jar sterilization:  Sterilizing Jars & Lids
6.  By now your jars should be sterilized and ready to be filled.  Take the jars out of the boiling water (I use my jar remover and make sure that the water is drained out of each jar).  Fill each jar with the hot tomato sauce up to the threads of the jar (about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of headspace) 






7.  Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth making sure that any sauce residue is gone (any residue left on the rim can stop the jar from sealing).
8.  Place a sterilized lid on each jar and then tighten a ring on each jar.
9.  Place all jars in a "Water Bath Canner" and process (boil) the jars for 35 minutes (make sure that the water level in the Canner is 1 inch above the tallest jar) 





10. Remove the jars and place them on the counter or table to cool (I always place them on a cloth because there have been a few times when a jar cracked and then the contents oozed out making a mess - the cloth will help if that happens).  You will hear the wonderful popping sound of your jars sealing.
11. Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours and then store in your pantry or in your fruit cellar until the winter and then enjoy a little bit of summer.


I use this tomato sauce as a base for many soups, stews, chilis and pasta dinners. (I will post many of these recipes this winter). 


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