Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Preserving Food ~ Roasted Tomato Sauce

This sauce is best made with a variety of tomatoes. I used the Champions from the garden, along with the sauce tomatoes and the Sun Gold Cherry tomatoes from the farm.


Tomatoes (One flat of tomatoes makes about 8 - 10 pints of sauce)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Italian Seasoning


Roasting pans (I used my glass Pyrex baking dishes)
Large spoon
garlic crusher
water bath canner
clean and hot jars, lids and rings

First, cut all tomatoes at least in half. Even the cherries. If you don't do this, they 'pop' later in cooking and give your sauce a watery consistency. Fill a baking pan with the cut tomatoes about a layer and a half deep. Crush a head of garlic into each baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, 2 Tbs or more of balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper.

Mix well and put in a 400* oven for 40 minutes. About a half hour into the roasting you will smell the tomato sauce. :) When your timer goes off, your sauce should look like this:

Then, VERY CAREFULLY, put it into a blender or food processor and process on low speed with the lid held on (but not tight, only so it doesn't splatter and burn you.) Slowly turn the speed up on the blender until you have your sauce to the consistency you want (I like mine super pureed). During this step, add your Italian Seasoning and any salt and pepper you might need to your taste.

This is what mine looks like when I am done:

At this point, it is the perfect place to let the sauce cool, and put it into bags for the freezer if you so desire. Make sure it is cooled completely in a bowl or in the blender before adding it to the freezer bags. It will separate if you freeze it warm.

Put the jar lids in a bowl of boiling water. Then fill hot, clean jars with hot sauce, and put on the lids and rings (again *very* carefully! Everything is hot at this point!). Process covered with a rolling boil in a water bath canner for 35 - 40 minutes:

This is our soup base for tomato soup, our pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and is dumped into our chili for that tomato flare.

The process is time consuming... but oh so worth it! What an amazing taste this will be come January! If you want to try it... just make one batch to test and see if your family likes it as much as mine does. :)



Sarah said...

So you just canned it? as is? Does the balsamic add enough extra acidity? If it says good....I'll do that next year my freezer is packed. I am hoping with enough for the whole year....

As far as saving- I don't have a good system. I have a zillion bookmarks on my browser but never remember what is what. A million files in my folders but never find things. If I were more organized I would remember for change file names to what I would remember and organize my favorites. Some people swear by some of those google apps...but I've never used them, though I should remember to star blog posts in my google reader so I can find them again when I need them.

Have fun with your harvests!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

All the recipes I looked at said that if you add acid, and then waterbath for more than 30 minutes you were good. BUT just to be on the safe side, I will check the PH today and make sure.

I don't use a reader... I should, and then I would be able to use a feature like the stars for posts I want to keep track of. lol... right now, my 'favorites' is full to tbe brim and I can't remember where anything is. lol...


Nessa said...

Thank you so much for the post! That recipe looks so delicious, I could almost smell the aroma.

I will make some of that and freeze. I'm not familiar with canning, though I'd like to get started. I was told to practice with jams first. Seems you know all the rules with the red sauce. How do you go about testing the PH?


Val in the Rose Garden said...

I have talked with two people who have said it was ABSOLUTELY alright, and a third from the extension office that said that kept saying that should be enough, but would not make a diffinitive answer.

I couldn't test the Ph because the test kit I had only went down to 6.0 and I need 4.7.

I will get ones on Friday that go down to 2, but until then, I am going to put a disclaimer on it to use at least 2 TBS vinager for each pan of tomatoes and that this is a home recipe that hasn't been time tested. I really, honestly, and truly think it's fine... it's baked, has acid added, garlic, and salt (all preservitives), and it is processed both before and after (you can cold pack tomatoes raw into jars and just pour hot water and lemon juice over them and have them be fine).

Anyhow... that is what I found out. I will edit with more info later when the guy from UOG calls back.


Val in the Rose Garden said...

OK! I have the answer. The guy from UW science labs called me back and said that from what I discribed I should be more than fine. He said that you need 1 Tbs of acid (my balsamic was 6% and said it right on the bottle) per QUART of tomato sauce. I have at least 2 per quart. So I am more than good for canning. This recipe is a GO! YAY!

Jody said...

I think I'm going to give this a try. Do you think it will work with big ol' slicing tomatoes? I don't have any sauce tomatoes at this point.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

I use whatever tomatoes I have on hand. When I have bland ones, I just add more garlic. :)


Val in the Rose Garden said...

Oh and the riper they are, the better they are. So if you let them sit on the counter until they are nearly squishy, it makes better sauce. :)

Enjoy Jody! I look forward to hearing your responce.


Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

This looks so yummy! We had a really bad season for tomatoes, but we did get lots of cherry and grape tomatoes... could I use those? I'm wishing your blog was scratch 'n sniff!!!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Heck yeah Valerie! You could totally use those and I am glad to hear you got any at all! I was thinking that the blight wiped out all your tomato crop. That still pulls at my heart when I think of it. {{hug}}

Anyhow... half of what I used here was cherry tomatoes. They were the ones I got from the farm and were about to turn and I made sure to get some in each batch of sauce because they were so ripe and flavorful!

Sophie said...

Oh my goodness... Thankyou, our vegetable garden has decided to flourish and give us an overload of tomatoes. I love tomatoes so much, but I'm starting to dread the sight of them! This is a perfect way to use them, for I hate to see anything go to waster! Thankyou!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

YES!!!!! I'm so excited to get to try this!! I'll give it a go tonight... thanks so much!

Jody said...

Oh, yum, Val! We had it tonight for dinner on pasta. It was very good! It is definitely a keeper! I am leery of water bath canning this because our tomatoes are blighted, and someone somewhere was speculating that it could cause the pH of the tomatoes to be off. I hope to put some away in the freezer or pressure can. There won't be a lot, but well worth the effort!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

oh yay! I am so glad you like it!

She doesn't post often anymore but I orriginally got the recipe from Delicious Wisdom and she has some other great whole foods recipes on there as well. I would check her out. :)


Kristen said...

This was great! we made 7 more quarts today!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Oh yay! I am so glad it is working out for everyone. :) It is so great! I have 22 pints and am making more right this second (in the oven) and my house smells devine! I have traded all sorts of yummy things for it at work already. :) I love great recipies!

Sherri said...

Love this recipe Val!

One question though - when I make this, my sauce gets REALLY runny. I should note, though, that after roasted I run through a food mill (hubby hates the seeds). It was more like tomato soup consistency. So last batch I just added a small can of organic tomato paste and it thickened it up great. Rather not have to do that though. Have you dealt with this at all?

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Yes, I have! The worst time was when I used cherry tomatoes and didn't cut them in half first. They poped and left all of this juice at the bottom of the pan. When I cut them, I didn't have that issue as much. Another thing was where I put it in the oven. When I put the sauce to the top of the oven, it is fine, but on the bottom wrack, for some reason the sauce is runnier. Maybe temp? Maybe stays more consistant? I don't know, but I dont' put one on the bottom wrack anymore.

Does that help?


Mars said...

I made two batches today. Thanks for sharing this. I froze my sauce and can't wait to use it this winter! Thanks Val.

amanda said...

This looks fantastic! I am totally inspired and wanting to go. A few questions for those of us who are just learning to cook. A whole head of garlic per batch? It just sounds like a lot - maybe I don't get it. And about how much salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning do you use just so I have something to start with. Thanks SO much!

Lenetta said...

After reading the enthusiastic recommendation of Valerie at Frugal Family Fun Blog, I gave this a try with some of the tomatoes from our garden that are currently coming OUT OUR EARS. (Wish she was closer so I could give her some!)

The recipe didn't specify, but when I pureed the tomatoes, I added the juice from the pan, thinking that it needed the vinegar for the acidity levels. That made my sauce pretty runny. Valerie said she used a slotted spoon and then used the juice in salad dressing (YUM, I bet). Which way do you actually do it? I'm thinking it might be best to use the slotted spoon but then add some b.vinegar in the jar?

PS - linked to this on my weekly roundup, post can be found here. Thanks for sharing!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Thanks for linking me Lenetta! I do keep the juice in the sauce. I have found that when I put the pan in the top of my oven (like the high rack) then I have less juice. I put two pans on the top and one on the bottom and when I put them all together they are a consistency I like.

If you are worried about keeping the juice back and not having enough acidity, you could always do what you mentioned and add a Tbs of the vinegar to the sauce in the blender or just before canning. That would bring the acidity up enough and you would still have a consistency you liked.

Hope that helps!


Callista said...

i have these in the oven as i type.... it smells wonderful ^_^ as always thanks for the recipe val!


Anna said...

Valerie at Frugal Family Funblog told me to try this after I posted about having a bumper crop of tomatoes. If it tastes half as good as it smells I am in your debt.

Becka said...

Val, I am actually finally getting around to making this today. Hubby bought me a blender for Christmas. I will be freezing mine as I have no canning equipment, but I wanted to throw out a thank you for the post.

Blessings Abound said...

That looks so good! Can you believe I'm chicken when it comes to canning? I'm so paranoid I won't do it right and poison my family. LOL! Someday I'll get enough nerve to do it. I'll have to try this recipe even if I don't can it. I could probably freeze it and it would go fast in my family of 7. :)

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! I was already planning on canning tomatoes tomorrow but will be making this instead!
Thanks for the recipe :)


Recipejunkie68 said...

ok just wondering do you need to peel and core the tomatoes, I have done alot of canning in my years and I have always had to do that??? Please advise for I plan to make this sauce in the am hours

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Recipejunkie68 - I have never cored or peeled these tomatoes. Occasionally I will get some skin in the sauce but the blending process usually makes all of those tiny. :)



Courtney said...

when you say "best made with a variety of tomatoes" you mean mix and match any different varieties from the garden, or specifically sauce varieties? Will using something with more seeds and less flesh make for a runny sauce? Thanks!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Courtney - I am so sorry I didn't get this earlier! I have been in canning craziness myself.

Yes, I use a variety of tomatoes. My favorites, which I now grow each year, are German Wonder, Sun Gold, and Amish Paste (like a Roma). I love using the smaller, cherry types because they add so much flavor to the sauce. My tomatoes are HEAVY on the vines this year so I am excited to see how much sauce I will end up getting.



Kelly said...

delicious! Just made my first batch:) perfect for the copious amounts of tomatoes we have this time of year! Thanks!

Blue Ribbon Family said...

I made this last year and it was our favorite by far. Worth every second I put into it, plus some. I am wondering if you know how long these will last on the shelf after a hot water bath canning method. We ran out last week from the amount I put up last summer, but I am thinking of doing more this year to last me a bit longer. Any ideas?

Val in the Rose Garden said...

@BlueRibbonFamily I have never had one go bad and I have had them up to about 9 months. They are a favorite in this house as well, so they don't last for more than a year. If you are concerned, be sure to add the vinegar and then take a jar to your local extension office and ask them to test it. They should be able to give you more details on the acidity and longevity of the canned product. I hope that helps!



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