Basic Tomato Sauce

My garden is still bursting with tomatoes, and I’ve made so much gazpacho, salsa, and bruschetta! But I still have a ton of tomatoes turning ripe each morning.  Now is the best time to start preserving those gorgeous tomatoes for wintertime use.

How To Make Tomato Sauce From Scratch

A basic tomato sauce is very easy to make, but it can take some time and effort. That’s why I make a big batch and use some now and save some for later.  Making enough for a few winter meals might only take you a few extra minutes now, but it will definitely be worth it.

We are going to start with big tasty tomatoes that are fully ripe.  I love Roma tomatoes for making into sauce because they have a great taste, fewer seeds, and the skin peels nicely if you choose to leave it on. 

You can also use whatever tomatoes you have in your garden that you want to process, or what’s available in your area from the market.

When I make tomato sauce, I don’t peel the tomatoes.  I know that I’ll be using my blender and blending everything finely and it won’t matter.  You can pick out the longer peels as you cook it down.

Since this is a basic easy recipe, you are good to water-bath can them.  But if you add any other veggies ( peppers, onions, garlic, ect) then you need to pressure can or freeze your sauce, unless you are following a “safe” recipe. 

basic tomato sauce recipe

This Is A Base Sauce

A simple base tomato sauce can be seasoned up when you are ready to use it, but you aren’t limited by the pre-seasoned sauce flavor.  You can add seasoning like garlic, basil, ect. as you prepare your meal later on. 

This is a simple tomato and lemon juice sauce.  The lemon is to increase the acidity for preserving the tomatoes safely for canning.

When using lemon juice: 1T per pint/2T per quart. This will raise the acid level and make it safe for a boiling water bath.

But you can leave it out if you are freezing or using it in your recipe immediately. 

You can freeze this sauce for 3-6 months in freezer safe containers or bags. Simply allow the sauce to fully cool and transfer it to your freezer container.

Let’s Get Started!

  • Prep the tomatoes by washing, destemming, and inspecting for holes or rot.  Clear off the counters, get your knife and cutting board ready and get a big pot on the stove. I like to go in steps and get everything done in order.  But if you can get help, this will go a lot faster. 
  • Two quick cuts then into the pot! Since I don’t peel my tomatoes, I leave them chunky because they will break down as they cook. 
  • Prepare your canning jars or freezer containers. As your tomatoes are cooking down, make sure you have your jars prepped for canning or whatever you are going to do with the sauce one it’s finished cooking.  I Water-Bath can my tomatoes.  This means that I sterilize the jars, pour the sauce into the jars, seal with a new lid and then boil them in hot water for 30 minutes. 

Caution: Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost-killed vines. Green tomatoes are more acidic than ripened fruit and can be canned safely with any of the following recommendations.

Acidification: To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of a 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes.

If a procedure from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning for canning tomatoes offers both boiling water and pressure canning options, all steps in the preparation (“Procedure”) are still required even if the pressure processing option is chosen. This includes acidification. The boiling water and pressure alternatives are equal processes with different time/temperature combinations calculated for these products. The pressure processing options in these products were not developed for tomatoes without added acid.

Source: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_intro.html

Fresh Tomatoes taste better!

Because tomatoes are my favorite garden crop to grow, we always have a ton of fresh or canned tomatoes on hand that we preserved ourselves from our garden. Using fresh tomatoes is easy in your recipes.

 

How To Peel Tomatoes

You can quickly peel them using boiling water and a bowl of ice water.  Simply core, make an X on the bottom and with a slotted spoon slip the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds.

The peels will start to slide right off! Take them out and put them in ice water, then you can gently pull the peeks away from the tomatoes.

Basic Tomato Sauce

CategoryRecipesDifficultyIntermediate

 15 lbs ripe tomatoes – washed, and quartered
 ½ cup lemon juice

1

Add the tomato chunks into a large pot on medium heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stirring occasionally, mashing the chunks and removing large skin pieces or core.

2

Allow to cool 15 minutes, then use an immersion blender to smooth out your sauce. For chunky sauce, you can simply remove the skins as needed.

3

Stir in the lemon juice.

4

Preserving Option: If you are going to free your sauce, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, and then put into a freezer-safe storage container.

If canning, this is when you transfer the hot sauce into your canning jars and process your sauce according to your tomato canning recipe. Top with new, sterilized lids, and screw on the rings until finger tight. Process in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter without touching them.

Ingredients

 15 lbs ripe tomatoes – washed, and quartered
 ½ cup lemon juice

Directions

1

Add the tomato chunks into a large pot on medium heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stirring occasionally, mashing the chunks and removing large skin pieces or core.

2

Allow to cool 15 minutes, then use an immersion blender to smooth out your sauce. For chunky sauce, you can simply remove the skins as needed.

3

Stir in the lemon juice.

4

Preserving Option: If you are going to free your sauce, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, and then put into a freezer-safe storage container.

If canning, this is when you transfer the hot sauce into your canning jars and process your sauce according to your tomato canning recipe. Top with new, sterilized lids, and screw on the rings until finger tight. Process in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter without touching them.

Basic Tomato Sauce

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