This Sauce is Boss: Canning Tomato Sauce

As I mentioned in my post on catching up, we are up to our eyebrows in tomatoes. As tomatoes are delicious and versatile, I think this is okay. I love cherry and grape tomatoes, and we have had the best luck with the seeds we have purchased from here. I bought about forty dollars of seeds last year, and we didn’t use them all, so this year, we did some more. I know we have some of the mini-orange, and the sunglow, and there were probably others. These are sweeter than regular tomatoes, and they hold their shape better. There are also WAY fewer damaged or rotten ones.

So, what to DO with all of these little tomatoes? I used them for the same things I use the big red tomatoes for. It may take more tomatoes, but a five gallon bucket is a five gallon bucket.

This year, Mom and I decided to tag team some of the big projects, which I appreciate. It is the difference between me being done by supper, and done by breakfast the next morning. Yesterday, we completed another Tomato Day, and that day we had the trifecta: yellow, orange, and red. In addition to some salsa (another post for another time) we did some tomato sauce.

Now, the best way to do tomato sauce is to just smash the tomatoes a little and then let them cook down in a big pot for several hours.  However, we had many lots of tomatoes, and not tons of time, so, into the food processor ours went. I washed and capped the tomatoes, tossing any bad ones into a bowl for the chickens. Mom put them in the food processor and the we put them in a stockpot to cook for about…30 minutes, or until we were ready to keep going.

We added a little salt and sugar, and a smidge of lemon juice (helps the acidity) and I added basil I dried in the garden. Into the jars they went, and then into the PC. We had Hot Momma and her twin out today (16 quart pcs), as Big Poppa (23 quart) is too tall for Mom’s oven with the range overhead.  Quarts are processed for 25 minutes.

in the canner

I love these, and I especially love how the colors look. The yellow tomato sauce is very yummy; it is just a smidge sweeter than the red. Store bought tomato sauce has a lot of sugar in it, and the yellow sauce is great because it really doesn’t need any.

They look amazing.

These can be used for anything that requires tomato sauce. I just open them out the jar and serve them on pasta, but you can add other things, such as mushrooms, onions or peppers when you open the jar. They would be good on any time of baked pasta dish, could be used in chili or soups.

If you want to add the onions and peppers BEFORE canning, remember that you need to process for the ingredient that needs the longest times, so if peppers need longer than 25 minutes, process for the longer time.

What I love about having tomato sauce ready to go is that dinner is only as far away as boiling the water for the noodles. Though I suppose store bought sauce is also pretty speedy from jar to table, it DOES have a lot of extras, including sugar. This fall we will have greens in the garden, and I’m already imagining a yummy bowl of pasta with this sauce, a salad with greens and a few of the peppers I pickled as a side. Yum!

yellow orange red

Here are jars in yellow, orange, and red. 🙂 So pretty. You ca see a little liquid siphoned out the jar, but the seals are still good.

Canning tomatoes is very easy, and such a versatile item to have in your pantry. The third Tomato Day brought our jar total up to 70 quarts and 9 pints, but I want to do one more round with the red sauce now that those are coming in. The sauce turned out so pretty.

Happy homesteading!


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