A simple pasta sauce using the best ingredients summer has to offer will brighten up your winter pasta and breath some summer life and flavour into it. It will also make for many incredibly easy dinners, where all that’s required later is nothing more than a little heating up. And unlike some methods of preserving tomatoes the beauty of this one is it’s ease when making it – the tomatoes go in seeds, skin and all.
We’ve canned the sauce for shelf storage by sterilising our jars and following up with a water bath – if you don’t feel confident doing so you can package it up and freeze it. The lemon juice is necessary for shelf storage to ensure the sauce is acidic enough to keep this way, so don’t skip it. If you freeze the sauce you can leave it out.
45 medium tomatoes (approx), diced
3 onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 handfuls basil, chopped
1 tsp salt
Add a few dollops of olive oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about five or so minutes.
Add the tomatoes and salt and continue to cook over low-medium heat. Water will begin to draw from the tomatoes as they soften. Continue to cook until the tomatoes appear soft, then add the basil. Over low heat continue to cook the sauce for around 2 hours reducing some of the liquid.
When you’re ready to bottle the sauce, boil a separate large pot of water and add your jars and lids. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Remove the jars and add hot pasta sauce into the hot jars. If any food on the rims, wipe with a clean cloth dipped into the boiling water.
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar then place the lid and screw until finger tight (too tight and the pressure won’t be able to release when we process the jars). Turn the jars onto their lids for a few minutes – this helps absorb any water from the lid into the sauce. .
When finished, place all jars into your large pot of boiling water, or a water bath canner if you have one. If you are using a standard pot, make sure you keep your jars from touching each other in the pot – lining the bottom with a tea towel also helps to stop them from rattling and moving around. You can also use another between the jars if needed. Ensure also that each jar is covered by at least an inch of water above the lid.
Boil the jars for 35 minutes. Then remove with tongs and place on the bench, allow to cool and rest for 24 hours. Check the lids before storing – the processing will have worked if the ‘pop’ on the lids is sucked in and not moving when you press down on the lid. If any of your jars didn’t process properly, pop it in the fridge to use in the next 1-2 weeks, or into the freezer for longer storage. All others can go into the pantry ready to be used down the track when you want a taste of summer.
Source : The Slowpoke Journal