It’s that time of year ago. The tomatoes are taking over the window sills and just begging to be made into something delicious. Today, I will share with you the most flavorful FARMHOUSE HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE using tomatoes your grown in your own garden, picked up at the farmer’s market or even purchased at the grocery store. It is a zesty, sweet, and absolutely delicious farmhouse homemade tomato sauce without the addition of preservatives or any sugary sweeteners. Making your own tomato sauce is super easy and honestly, the most delicious thing ever!
Whether you grow your own tomatoes or purchase them at the farmer’s market or grocery store, you too can enjoy the freshness and delicious flavor that tomatoes can bring. It’s summer here, and of course, if you are a gardener of any kind (large scale or suburban or apartment size), you can grow your own tomatoes to make into other tomato products to use later in the year. The best part? You do not have to put all of the unnecessary preservatives in your food as what is placed into the stuff that we purchase at the store.
Tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes. Orange. Yellow. Purple. Green. And of course, there are red! For our tomato sauce today, I will be using Roma tomatoes. I pick our Roma’s right before they are ripened and allow them to sit in our window sill for a few days before using. We will use them to make diced tomatoes, salsa, stewed tomatoes or pasta tomato sauce. In our recipe today, I used about 24 tomatoes total with three of them being a tomato variety called “Black Prince”. I used three of those.
I love the versatility of what you can put in your tomato sauce …… carrots, peppers, basil, oregano, zucchini, or even eggplant. I want the other ingredients to dissolve into my sauce as it cooks, so I will dice them into small pieces. I I prefer using fresh garlic as there are just too many preservatives in the jarred kind compared to the fresh. My goal is to always use foods that are as fresh as can be in the less processed way. The goal is healthy lifestyle, eating more naturally. Whether you grow it yourself or purchase it from somewhere, fresh and whole food is always best. I also add salt to taste and a bit of ground pepper.
Making the Sauce
The process of making sauce is super easy! Dice zucchini, onion, and basil. Core all of the tomatoes and quarter them. Place all of these items in a good-sized cooking pot, mixing them together. Add salt and pepper, a little Italian Seasoning, and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. I cook all of the ingredients for about 20-30 minutes until the mixture start to thicken. I mash the tomato mixture with a Pampered Chef Mix N’ Mash as it cooks. Any type of utensil that mashes as you cook would work well. You will notice the peels starting to come away from the meat of the tomato. Right after it is finished cooking, you will need to carefully pull any peels that you see out. It is not necessary to get them all.
Your sauce should be thickened now. Use your food processor, blender or immersion hand blender to make your sauce smooth. I only blend it for a few pulses as I love having the chunks. Once the sauce is the constancy that you like, it is ready to use and enjoy. You can use this Farmhouse Homemade Tomato Sauce for pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, or in any recipe that calls for tomato sauce.
CANNING SAUCE FOR LATER
I don’t always use all of the sauce that day. Using the water-bath canning method, I will preserve whatever portion we do not use for later in the year. (BE SURE TO FOLLOW ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE BALL’S BLUE BOOK OF CANNING TO CAN YOUR FOOD SAFELY!!!!!!!!)
It’s very important to use clean canning jars and sterilize them before filling them with sauce. Canning jars are made of glass which can handle heat. There are many companies which make canning jars. There are a variety of sizes. I use a variety of brands, mostly between Kerr and Ball. Both jars work well. If you are unfamiliar with the canning, there are two types of openings on the jars. There is a wide-mouthed jar and a regular mouthed jar. Here is what they look like (the wide-mouthed is on the left and regular is on the right):
Wide-Mouth Quart Size Ball Jar TOP
Regular Quart Size Ball Jar BOTTOM
I used wide-mouthed, quart-sized jars for today’s canning, however, if you are a smaller family, you could always use the pint size.
Finishing Sauce & Sealing the Jars
Use a canning funnel to pour your sauce into your sanitized canning jar once your sauce is done and still warm. Fill them leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Take a clean paper towel or regular towel and wipe the top of the jar and around the threads of the jar. Place a brand new lid (always use a brand new lid and do not reuse lids after use) on top of each jar. Place the ring on the jar and lid, tightening just enough to hold the lid on. Place lace your jars into your canning pot with boiling water and have your boiling water approximately 2-3 inches above the lid top. Allow to boil for 20-25 minutes.
After it boils for 20-25 minutes, use your canning lifters to remove the jars from the boiling water. Place them on a towel. Now it is time to listen for the little POP and allow them to cool until they are at room temperature.
Label & Enjoy
Always be sure to date and label what you have placed in your jar. It has been my experience that I have a hard time remembering what is in my canned items if I do not label them.
I love that in the winter when fresh tomatoes are not available any longer, we are able to pop open a jar of sauce with all of the summertime deliciousness to enjoy!
- 24 Roma tomatoes (or a mixture of tomatoes)
- Small Zucchini
- Medium onion (red or yellow)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- A handful of Fresh Basil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp ground peppercorns
- 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning or fresh oregano
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Products to Cook & Preserve the Sauce
- Large Stock Pot for cooking down ingredients
- Canning Water-Bath Cooking Pot
- Cutting Board and Sharp knife
- Garlic Press, Core & More, and Food Chopper (you can cut by hand but I use Pampered Chef's products for this)
- 2 Quart-sized canning Jars with new lids and rings
- Large Bowl to hold ingredients after being cut
- Canning Jar funnel
- Canning Jar Handler
- Some type of blender ...... immersion blender, regular blender, or Ninja.
- Clean towel
- Canning labels and Sharpie Pen
1. Wash all of your produce. Core all of the tomatoes and cut out all of the hard spots or cracking lines. Cut tomatoes into quarters. Place in your large bowl to hold until placing into cooking pot.
2. Dice onions and zucchini. Place olive oil into your cooking pot. Once hot, add onions and zucchini to the pot and cook for about 2 minutes. Add Garlic to the mixture and warm another minute.
3. Add Italian Seasoning or oregano at this time. Also add Salt and Pepper.
4. Add all of your quartered tomatoes. Add lemon juice.
5. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes until your tomatoes are super soft and some skins are starting to appear. They will be rolled up for the most part. The sauce will also appear much thicker than when you first started.
6. Mash the tomatoes with a spoon or utensil that helps with this. I use the Pampered Chef Mix N' Chop.
7. Try to remove some of the skins that are very visible. I usually use a spoon and pick the few out by hand.
8. Pour the sauce into your blender or Ninja, or use your immersion blender to blend your sauce. I do not like my sauce very fine. I sort of like chunks so I only pulse for a few seconds at a time.
9. Place in jars to preserve for later or use for dinner! Your sauce is ready to eat! If you save it for later, wait until it cools and keep the sauce in the refrigerator or freezer until use later. I would only allow 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. **** Be sure to check the Ball's Blue Book to help with time frame for freshness.
CANNING and PRESERVING
1. Sterilize your quart-sized Ball jars with super hot water. I usually run them through the dishwasher right before I'm ready to can.
2. Fill your water-bath canning pot to where the water would be right above the top of the quart-sized jars about 2 inches. Turn on and get to a boil while your sauce is cooking.
3. Once the sauce is done, place the canning funnel on top of your jar and pour the sauce into the jar, leaving 1/4 inch of headroom. Take a paper towel or regular towel and dry around the rim and threads.
4. Place lid and ring on the jar. Close it just tight enough to hold the lid in place but not too hard that it will be difficult to remove when finished processing.
5. Place jars in prepared and boiling canning pot water making sure the water is 2-3 inches ABOVE the jar top.
6. Allow to boil for 25 minutes.
7. After this time has passed, place the finished jars on a clean, dry towel on the counter. Your jars will make a pretty loud "POP" when the top seals. Remove the ring and dry your jars. Allow to cool a few hours.
8. Once cooled completely, make sure the lid is secure, place your label on the jar with the date and what is in the jar (Farmhouse Homemade Tomato Sauce). Place jars in the pantry for use later in the year.
I love the versatility of this recipe! You can add diced carrots, peppers, eggplant, or any other type of veggie that you may want to sneak into your kids or yourself. It is able to be eaten right away or saved for a later date. And it is SO SO delicious!