Sunday, July 8, 2012
On Friday, I received an email from my favorite local farm letting me know that they were having a BOGO sale on tomatoes. Twenty-five pounds of tomatoes were on sale for $15 with a second 25 pound box free. Fifty pounds of tomatoes for $15 is an absolute bargain! I decided it would be a great way to make sauce for use throughout the rest of the year. Nothing beats fresh tomato sauce in the dead of winter! I canned 9 quarts of tomato-basil sauce. I froze an additional 4 quarts. I plan on using these throughout the year for pasta sauces, soup bases, etc,
12 lbs. ripe tomatoes, peeled*
3 Tbs. packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. kosher salt
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups lightly packed basil, chopped
6 Tbs. lemon juice
Place a portion of the peeled tomatoes in the food processor. Process until desired smoothness. Transfer the pureed tomatoes to an 8-quart heavy pot. Repeat chopping the remaining tomatoes in batches in the food processor. Add all tomatoes to the pot. Add the brown sugar, salt, vinegar, and black pepper to the tomatoes. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Remove from heat, stir in basil. Spoon 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into each of six hot sterilized jars. Ladle hot sauce into the jars with lemon juice. Leave a 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 35 minutes. Start timing when the water returns to boiling. Remove jars from canner. Cool on wire racks.
* Easy way to peel a large quantity of tomatoes.
The thickness of the sauce depends on the type of tomatoes used. Roma tomatoes are not as juicy and yield a thicker sauce. My tomatoes were a variety of summer slicing tomatoes and quite juicy. I doubled the ingredients above and and cooked the sauce about 2 1/2 hours until it was the thickness of a typical marinara.
I canned the majority of my sauce. I like the convenience of being able to open a jar and get dinner on the table quickly. The remainder of the sauce I froze. To freeze the sauce, after removing the sauce from the heat and stirring in the basil, ladle the sauce into freezer quart sized bags. Squeeze any air from the bags and close. Place in the freezer. Sauce will keep in the freezer for 6-8 months. To use the frozen sauce, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.