Are you tired of spending money on tomato sauce all the time? Or are you simply just bored? How about you make some tomato sauce! In this day and age, nothing tastes better than fresh produce made in the comfort of your kitchen.
You can never be too sure about what your local manufacturer has added to their product especially when it comes to tomato paste and tomato sauce. Here is an everything you need to know to make a moderate size batch of tomato sauce right from the picking to packing the sauce into jars.
This should satisfy your taste buds now and forever plus, it’s the best option when you are looking to cut back on a few calories. I love the fact that I can control what I add to it compared to a manufactured sauce. We are all trying to live a long life after all. It’s not easy but the end result is worth the effort.
Time: Half a day
- 6 to 8 pounds of fresh tomatoes.
- ½ a cup of lemon juice or red wine
- 4 Mixing bowls
- Slotted Spoon
- Paring knife
- Canning jars or containers for freezing
- Food processor or blender
Highly recommended but optional:
- A teaspoon of Salt
- Cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons of fresh basil
- Tablespoon of black pepper
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- A tablespoon of sugar
- Two white onion
- A carrot
The type of tomato one uses when making sauce is very important in that some varieties are fleshier, larger and even cheaper than others. Plum tomatoes are the most recommended when making tomato sauce because they are fleshier and have fewer seeds and therefore will make a thick sauce.
Basically, the heavier the tomato, the better and it is important that the tomatoes you choose are not blemished on the outside. Heirloom tomatoes are good but they are not so easy on the pocket and who wants to spend fortunes on tomatoes just to cook them down into a mushy tomato paste?
Preparing the tomatoes
It does take a fair amount of tomatoes to make the sauce. To get 8 to 9 cups of tomato sauce you will need about 8 to 10 pounds of tomato sauce. Therefore for about 1 cup of sauce, you will need one pound of tomatoes.
The first step is to completely remove the stem from the tomato using a knife. A paring knife is highly recommended. The next process is the peeling of the tomatoes. Before you begin peeling you will need a large pot of boiling water, unsalted to avoid disintegration of the tomato flesh.
You will also need a bowl of cold ice water and then you can begin peeling
- Step 1: To each tomato, cut the core and make sure to still use the paring knife.
- Step 2: At the bottom of each tomato, slice a shallow “X” and this will allow the skin to separate from the flesh when it is being boiled.
- Step 3: In batches, drop several tomatoes into the boiling water and let the tomatoes cook until you start seeing the skin beginning to peel away from the flesh. This should start happening about 45 seconds after you placed the tomatoes in the water. If it takes more than a minute then something hasn’t been done right.
- Step 4: Lift the tomatoes out of the water preferably with a slotted spoon and immediately place them in the ice cold water. Placing the tomatoes in the cold water will aid in halting the cooking process.
- Step 5: As soon as the tomatoes are cool, transfer them to a different bowl. Leaving them in water for too long will cause them to be diluted and your tomato sauce will lose flavor.
- Step 6: Gently peel the skin off the tomatoes using your hands or with the paring knife. The skin should come off easily and if not, it means you have probably overcooked the tomatoes, especially if bits of skin is sticking to the peels. This shouldn’t be a bother though.
Making the sauce
- Step 1: Here you can use either your hands or the blender. You just need to basically break the tomatoes open to release the juice. Now, do you see why we needed juicy tomatoes? Set the crushed tomatoes aside.
- Step 2: Roast a while head of garlic. The easiest way to do this is by cutting an inch off the top of the garlic to expose the individual cloves. Season the garlic with oil, salt, pepper then wrap it with aluminum foil. It should roast for 40 minutes at 400 degrees until the cloves are soft. Let them cool thereafter then squeeze the soft paste-like cloves out and set this aside too.
- Step 3: Chop two white onions and a large carrot into cubes. The key is to make them small and uniform in size for even cooking.
- Step 4: In a large pot, add the olive oil, fresh basil, salt, sugar and the cut vegetables and cook until the onions JUST begin to turn brown then add the roasted garlic cloves. Turn down the heat or else your sauce will end up being bitter.
- Step 5: Add lemon juice to the pot. This will help to neutralize the acidic taste that tomatoes sometimes have. Let the lemon juice reduce a bit; by about 2/3.
- Step 6: Add the crushed tomatoes along with some sugar and salt but DO NOT purée. Let it cook for around 10 minutes until the tomatoes are soft to make it easier to purée later.
- Step 7: Now purée with an immersion blender just to break up the big tomato pieces. The more the pieces, the chunkier the tomato sauce will be. Once done, bring the sauce to a boil then turn the heat down after some time for at least an hour. The longer it simmers, the thicker and more concentrated the sauce will be.
Once the sauce is done the cooking and has been cooled, it is important to store it properly. Fist you will need to figure out how much sauce you will need at a time. Divide the sauce into airtight containers and for those that you will use within a week, store in the fridge. Otherwise, the rest should be stored in the freezer but this can only stay up to 3 months.
- Patience is key. Take the time do what is required and you will have the best sauce.
- The longer you cook the better
- Adding anchovies is not as bad as it sounds. Try it.
Did you enjoy this recipe? I hope you did. This is one of the many recipes that are closest to me because I personally need to regulate what gets into my body for me to stay healthy. I’m sure most of us do. Regulating your sugar and salt intake is important in that it keeps illnesses such as diabetes at bay. Tell me how this recipe has helped you and why you chose to ale your own tomato sauce down in the comments section. Don’t forget to share it with your family and your friends. They will love you for it.
This is a sponsored guest post by Paula Ghosh