I love canning the produce that I grow in my garden, but I seldom have enough Roma tomatoes to make a big batch of sauce to can. This is my hybrid recipe, and I hope you love it as much as my family does. Theoretically you could use all canned tomatoes for this sauce, but fresh really does have a certain flavor you can’t fake.
Here’s the exciting thing about sauces – you can tweak and taste and eyeball and adjust them as much as you want. It’s not like baking, where precise measurements are a must to ensure a proper chemical reaction. You should taste your creation several times along the way, and season it to your liking. Just please use a clean spoon each time. You don’t want the enzymes and bacteria from your saliva in the sauce, especially if you are canning it.
Makes 6 pints. If you want less, do the math and make less.
Dietary Considerations: Vegan, Paleo, Whole30
4 lbs fresh Roma tomatoes
2 28 oz cans of whole, peeled tomatoes
3 medium white onions, finely diced
1 1/2 c. carrot, grated
1 c. celery, finely diced
8 gloves garlic, minced
Olive oil for sauteing
1 tsp sea salt, with additional salt to season sauteed veggies
1/4 c. fresh basil, finely chopped, with additional chopped basil on reserve for final seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
Wrap with cheese cloth and tie with cotton thread
Don’t have fresh herbs? Add dried herbs directly to sauce.
If you don’t use a sachet, be sure to remove bay leaves from sauce before blending.
For the fresh tomatoes, boil a pot of water, and get an ice bath ready. Cut an X on the top of your tomato and drop into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove and drop into an ice bath. Skin should peel easily. Remove seeds and skin, and set tomato flesh aside.
Heat olive oil in your stock pot, and add onions. Season with a sprinkle of salt.
Saute about 5 min until soft.
Add carrot, celery, and garlic. Season again with a small sprinkle of salt.
Saute for 2-5 additional minutes until onions are translucent and tender, not browned.
Add tomatoes, 1 tsp salt, basil, and herb sachet (or tried herbs.) Stir to incorporate.
Simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours or until tomatoes are cooked down and starting to turn darker red.
Remove herb sachet. If you used dried herbs, be sure to remove bay leaves.
Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
Taste and season as needed. You will probably need more salt. I also like to add some oregano I’ve dried from my garden and some fresh basil chiffonade here to give a burst of flavor.
Simmer until desired thickness.
Use fresh or store covered for up to 1 week.
Or can immediately following your canner’s instructions for tomato products.