I wonder, what do you do when you have nearly 15 tomatoes and a large container of cherry tomatoes, as well as hoards of other fresh vegetables all getting ready to go bad? You make homemade tomato sauce, of course!
Chunky canned Italian tomato sauce
- 20 lbs 9 kg plum tomatoes, chopped or pureed (I prefer chopped)
- 1 2/3 cup 450g onion, finely chopped
- 1 2/3 cup 450 g celery, finely chopped
- 2 cups 500 g carrot, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 8 tbsp 240 ml bottled lemon juice
- 8 tsp 40 ml salt
- 2 tsps 8 ml freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp 8 ml crushed red pepper flakes
- 6 large basil leaves
I added mushrooms, sweet banana peppers, and fresh oregano. I eliminated celery, carrot, and lemon juice.
- Process 6 clean 1-liter mason jars in a hot water bath canner (cover jars with water to top, heat to a boil, and continue simmering, covered, for 10 minutes). Heat lids in a small pot of hot, not boiling, water. Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
- Chop tomatoes, taking care to remove any blemishes or soft spots (those may lead to the growth of bacteria in your jar). Place in a colander, let stand 15 minutes, and discard liquids.
- Place onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in a large stainless steel pot (you may need to use two). Add 4 cups (1 litre) chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, boil gently, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining tomatoes 1 cup at a time while maintaining mixture at a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Boil hard, stirring frequently, until desired consistency is reached, about 15-30 minutes (I like to reduce the sauce by half).
- In each hot jar, place one basil leaf. Ladle sauce carefully into hot jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim, taking care to remove any sauce spills. Centre hot lid on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, using just two fingers (do not tighten).
- Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for the remaining sauce.
- When all jars have been returned to the canner, top with enough water to cover all jars by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of hot water. Cover canner with lid and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. Boil filled jars for 35 minutes.
- When the processing time is complete, turn the stove off, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours. Ensure that all your lids have sealed by checking the centre of each lid (sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed). Remove screw bands and store sealed jars without them until use (this helps ensure that if a lid ever pops, you’d be able to see it).