This is a post from Jenn Porsche of Treasuring Life’s Blessings
The end of summer is in the air and with it comes the frenzy of freezing and canning. My garden has really been fruitful and especially of late, the tomatoes are coming in by the pounds. I do a lot with tomatoes to preserve them but by far, what we go through the most is spaghetti sauce (which I also use for pizza and other meals & soups). I admit, no 2 batches of my sauce are ever the same because I don’t follow a specific recipe. That’s the beauty of making your own sauce! And you know what my other secret is? My sauce is chock full of vegetables, not just tomatoes! (but shhh, don’t tell my hubby who doesn’t like most vegetables but raves over my sauce!) Making spaghetti sauce can be a whole family affair. My older children will go out and pick the tomatoes from our 25 plants and my youngest children will help wash the tomatoes. This year my 3 year old even helped cut the tops off the smaller tomatoes. I have always felt that no matter the age of my children, there is a way for each and every one of them to participate in whatever we are doing.
Because I often multitask, I go the easy way and roast my tomatoes and accompanying veggies while I work on other canning tasks. I simply chop my tomatoes into chunks (after washing and cutting off the tops) and toss them into roasting pans. I also chunk up and add in other veggies such as onion, garlic, celery, mushroom, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, etc. Think about the variety of vegetable sauces you see in the grocery store, the combinations are endless! I roast the vegetables at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours or until all the vegetables are soft. Then using my ninja blender, I blend the veggies until pureed. (I leave the juice in the pan and later strain that to can for tomato juice).
After they are pureed, I cook the sauce in stockpots while adding more seasoning & spices (see below for an estimated recipe). After it has thickened, I move onto canning the sauce. If you can using the water bath method, you need to add 2 Tbsp of lemon juice per quart jar. If you use a pressure cooker, follow their recommended procedure. If you don’t own a canner, no problem! You can let the sauce cool then freeze into containers or quart bags. One of my secret tips to canning in the middle of summer is to can outside if you have the ability. It keeps your house from getting too hot!
The best part of making your own sauce is knowing there are no preservatives in it and that it has only the freshest of ingredients straight from your garden!
While I don’t have a specific recipe, this is just a rough estimate of what I put in. Feel free to taste and adjust according to what you prefer. Approximately 25lbs of tomatoes 4 peppers, seeded and chunked 2 onions chunked 10 cloves of garlic Additional veggies if you prefer: several stalks of celery mushrooms eggplant 2-3 cups of tomato paste 1/4 cup of salt 1/2-2/3 cup of sugar dried oregano, basil & parsley to taste (or you can use fresh if you have it) 2 tsp crushed red pepper 2 tsp worchestershire sauce (though if you don’t have it, it’s ok) 3 bay leaves 2 Tbsp of lemon juice for every quart jar Roast your veggies at 350 until softened (about an hour and a half). Puree up veggies in blender or food processor. Strain juice to freeze or can for tomato juice. Add puree to stock pot. Cook on medium adding the above ingredients. Cook until thickened (1-2 hours uncovered). If processing by water bath, add 2 Tbsp lemon juice per quart jar and can for 40 minutes. Yields approximately 9 quarts.