Making Tomato Sauce

I can 50-100 quarts of tomato sauce every year. The amount depends upon the availability of tomatoes. My children call this sauce Red Gold and cart off dozens of it when they visit.

Here is how I make my sauce:

A large black porcelain canning pot holds 11 qts. I try to do a full batch as much as possible.

Clean and trim the tomatoes. You only need to remove the really rotten parts and the brown scarred parts. Soft spots are okay

Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters and put them in a large pot. Not aluminum. I usually use the black porcelain canning pot for this. Let the tomatoes stew on a low to medium flame until they have released their liquid and come to a boil. (You donít have to add water to stew them as long as you are careful not to put the heat too high and you stir the tomatoes occasionally.)

Once the tomatoes are stewed use a hand held blender to loosen them up while they are still in the stewing pot. This will increase your yield and result in a thicker sauce.

Then run the stewed tomatoes through the press into another large stewing pot. I have an open black porcelain kettle for this purpose which holds about 12 qts. Most of the tomatoes will flow right through the press but I always run the pulp and seeds through twice. This makes for a thicker sauce.

The tomatoes now need to be brought to a boil. Again be sure not to put the heat too high and to stir the tomatoes occasionally.

While the tomatoes are stewing, you need to prepare the jars. Wash them in hot soapy water. Put them in the large black porcelain canning pot filled with water and bring that to a boil while the tomatoes are stewing.

Put the lids and screw caps in a smaller separate pot of hot water.

Once the tomatoes have come to a boil you can begin the canning process.

Take the jars out of the water bath and drip out all the water.

To each jar add the following: 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp salt (necessary for the preserving process) 
several nice leaves of basil 
at least one large garlic clove cut in half or quarters (according to taste)

Use a canning funnel and a ladle to pour the tomato sauce into the jars. Leave about an inch head space. (I use the bottom of the screw top as my guide.) Wipe the full jar with a clean wet paper towel to remove any sauce on the lip. Put a lid on the jar and add a screw cap. Hand tighten.

Use canning tongs to put the jars in the hot water bath. I put each jar in as soon as the cap is tightened.

Bring the water bath to a boil again and leave the jars in the boiling water bath for at least thirty five minutes.

Remove the jars with canning tongs and let them rest on the counter. Allow breathing space between the jars. You should start hearing them ďpopĒ fairly quickly. This means that the seal is setting.

After the jars are completely cool, I remove the screw caps to make sure that the seal has taken. If it hasnít the sauce is still good but should be refrigerated or frozen until used.

I think you know what to do from this point on.