Since I can remember my family has been making and jarring their own tomato sauce. When the time comes around every summer it’s a great way to get everyone together and quite the reminder that summer is coming to a close. Nothing can beat the sweet smell that fills the air while crates of meaty plum tomatoes bleed red and pots boil over. It’s one of my favorite family traditions and I thought it best to share it with you!
Plum tomatoes are the best tomatoes to use when making sauce because they have the most meat in them which will help make the sauce thick. One crate of tomatoes should fill anywhere from 10-12 mason jars (quart, 32 oz.) So here it is, first thing first.
Step 1: Wash your tomatoes and toss any rotten ones and cut any that have bad spots. You don’t want one guy to ruin the whole bunch.
Step 3: Once the tomatoes have been boiled they need to go into a strainer. Since we are working with large batches of tomatoes these aren’t your everyday pasta strainers! You need to carefully move the tomatoes around to help drain the water but not let out too much of the flesh of the tomatoes. The less water you have the thicker the sauce.
Step 4: Now that your tomatoes are cooked it’s time to make the sauce! To do this you will need a tomato strainer. These can be electric or manual. Depending on how many tomatoes your working with and your preference, I recommend electric. You’ll want to take those tomatoes and run it through the strainer and it will separate the skin and seeds and produce a smooth puree. The skin and seeds will come out another end. When you have run all the tomatoes through take the skin and seeds and run those through again. There is still tons of goodness in there. Then, one more time! So that’s one batch of tomatoes run through the strainer 3x. Got it? Good!
To seal the jars you need to submerge them in boiling water and let them sit for 10 minutes for 32 oz. jars and 20 minutes for 64 oz. jars. Then remove, dry and set in desired location for a year of great tomato sauce!
For those of you who want fresh tomato sauce minus the big production the same can be done by just boiling tomatoes in a stove top pot and using a food mill to separate the skin and seeds.
There are tons of recipes for tomato sauce and after a long day of cleaning, boiling, straining, pureeing and sealing there is nothing better than some fresh homemade pasta to go with our homemade sauce.