We feel so incredibly blessed to still be able to can and freeze produce this season. It is the first year in a long time that we haven’t had a garden and when we moved I mourned the fact that we wouldn’t be able to can and freeze like we had in the past.
Between family being generous with their produce, co-workers dropping off produce on our step, and the local farmer’s markets, I have canned more this year than any year in the past. What a blessing.
Tomatoes have been plentiful, so I have been canning using my old trusty recipes as well as a few new ones. I think we are set with two types of pasta sauce as well as pizza sauce. I still hope to make salsa, but am rather scared. I’ve never made salsa before. All that chopping. Oy!
Here are my favourite tomato recipes this year:
Yield: 8 cups (It is safe to double this recipe)
8 cups (2 L) coarsely chopped, peeled tomatoes (about 9-12 tomatoes)
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
2/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar (5 % strength)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon pickling salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 6-oz/156 mL) can tomato paste
Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, wine, vinegar, basil, parsley, salt, sugar and tomato paste in a very large non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until mixture reaches desired consistency, stirring frequently. For mine to reach the thickness we like, I had it simmer for 2 to 2 ½ hours.
Remove hot jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of rim (head space). Process 35 minutes for pint (500 mL) jars and 40 minutes for quart (1 L) jars in a hot water bath.
- Blanch 15 lbs. tomatoes for 1 minute. Place in ice water. Discard cord/stem and peel and cut each tomato into large chunks (I cut each large tomato into 8ths). I blanch about 7 tomatoes at a time and cut an x into the bottom of each tomato before blanching, to make the peeling process easier.
- Puree 2 large onions in food processor (or chop really finely) then add to tomatoes.
- Chop 2-3 bell peppers into small pieces and add to tomatoes.
- Add minced garlic.
- Add 2 cans tomato paste.
- Simmer 30 minutes.
- Add all spices and the fresh basil.
- Simmer until you get to your desired thickness of sauce. I simmered mine for 30 minutes and then used the immersion blender to get the sauce to the consistency I wanted. I then simmered it another 1-1 ½ hours to help it thicken more.
- To can, ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars (or quarts if you are canning a larger amount) to within 1/2 inch of top, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per pint to assure acidity, seal with sterilized lids and process full jars in boiling water bath for 35 minutes for pint jars and 40 minutes for quart jars.
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp lemon juice per jar
**It is very important to practice safe canning methods. If you are new to canning or need a refresher, please check out these health and safety suggestions found in THIS link.**