I thought I would do this post about Italian tomato sauce purely because I love doing it, a lot of people ask how, and I thought what a great opportunity to create your own brand of sauce!
what you need
you need tomatoes, some large bowls, a large sauce pan, empty clean glass jars with lids,a tomato press machine, basil and chili (opt) salt, and a large pot to boil jars of sauce in and about 1 - 2 hours
The tomato press machine does not have to be big or expensive, tend to now do about 10 or 20 kg of very ripe tomatoes at a time (when available) so we bought a quite small plastic tomato press for about $50, its fantastic. we use a large sauce pan over the hot plate on the BBQ, and we normally cook in batches, ( or buy 2 big pots.
1/ Wash tomatoes in clean water with 1/2 cup of white vinegar, just to get of any residue that may be on them (still do this even if they are classified as organic)
2/ In a big container fill with water and one at a time cut tomatoes (A slit half way through) and squeeze out some of the seeds and watery inside. you will have to change the water a few times.
3/ Place a large pot of water on stove top and bring to the boil.
4/ Once water is at boiling point add a few squeezed tomatoes at a time ( all depends on sizes here, I love to use Roma's in which case you probably could put 8 or 10 at a time)
5/ Let water come back to boil, and simmer this batch of tomato''s for about 5 minutes
6/ Take tomatoes out with slotted spoon and drain in colander, put next batch in and follow same routine until all tomatoes have had their 5 minutes
7/ Now place the tomatoes through the tomato press as many as you can, as the peel and most seeds come out of one side redo them through the machine at least 4 times, there is a lot of flavor in those skins, but we don't want the skins in the main sauce. The actual sauce will come out of the front part of the machine so you will need a large pot or bowl. and YES it does get a bit messy!!
8/ Add some salt (preferably Himalayan salt), a couple of tablespoons is plenty, add more if needed when you use the sauce in your future recipes.
# it used to be thought you needed to add a lot of salt at this point to preserve the tomato sauce, this is not the case. We are going to boil the tomato in the jars for 2 hours, this seals and protects
the tomato from spoiling.
9/ Even though my glass jars are all clean I still at this stage boil a kettle an pour over the lids and jars to sterilize, then empty out excess water from jars.
10/ Optional - place a sprig of fresh basil in the base of each glass jar
optional - add a small chili in a few of the jars if you want a bit of chili flavor in the sauce.
11/ Pour tomato sauce into jars to 9/10th full
12/ Screw lids onto jars tightly
13/ Prepare the very large sauce pan ( i do this out side on the BBQ side burner, only because it then doesn't health up inside), place a t towel on the bottom of the sauce pan a carefully place jars of sauce inside, almost to the top, as many as you can fit
14/ Fill with water and place another t towel on top of jars ( safely precaution in an unlikely glass breakage) put lid on pot , bring to the boil, then turn to simmer for 2 hours
PS always make sure there is enough water in the pot!!!!!
15/ After 2 hours turn off let the sauce stay sitting in the pot until cooled
16/ Remove from water, wipe clean (check for breakages, before putting hands straight into pot)
17/ Label and store for future use, I have used mine more than 12 months after making it and it was still fantastic
A gift for you
I hope you enjoy doing this and making your on family sauce, each year I truly believe you will get more and more family and friends wanting to help and to just be involved in the making of you families sauce secret !!
I use all different size jars because sometimes I need a lot for a family meal or sometimes I just want a small amount to top a pizza. I love using recycled jars because why waste them , you can use them year after year, they may have originally had jam in them or olives, but now they have your sauce in them, congrats.