Pizza Sauce

Sunday of this week I canned two bushels of tomatoes, some diced and some stewed yielding 92 pints. Yesterday I turned a half bushel of roma (plum) tomatoes into pizza sauce. The roma tomatoes make great sauce because they are a nice meaty tomato with less seeds. I also find them a bit easier to peel. A half bushel of tomatoes fits perfectly in my large canning kettle. Since it takes several hours of simmering for the tomatoes to cook down, in my kitchen it is only practical to do a half bushel at a time. We eat a lot of dishes with tomatoes throughout the year and home-canned tomatoes and sauces taste so good! I wish I could say the tomatoes all came from our garden, but living in a forest doesn’t allow for enough sun to grow produce. There are several nice farm markets in our area that sell Michigan produce so they are my go to.

The first job is getting the tomatoes ready for saucing. That’s the worst part! They need to be cored, peeled, and diced. If you haven’t peeled tomatoes before you want to wash and core them first. Have a large pot of simmering water ready and put several tomatoes in for a couple minutes. Remove the tomatoes to an ice water bath, slide the skins off, and dice. Repeat and repeat and repeat.

Ingredients:

1 bushel of roma tomatoes peeled and diced

2 large onions (about 4 cups) diced

2 heads of garlic peeled

4-5 carrots finely diced

1/2 cup olive oil

3 T dried basil

3 T dried oregano

Red pepper flakes to taste

Salt to taste

Add the olive oil, onions, carrots, and garlic cloves to the kettle and cook over medium heat until they are softened but not browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Add your spices and a generous amount of salt.
Mix well and simmer away. Stir often to make sure there is no scorching on the bottom of your pan. After about an hour of simmering and stirring use an immersion blender to break up the tomatoes and vegetables.
Continue simmering until your sauce reaches the desired consistency. It took about 4 hours for my sauce. I used the immersion blender several more times after the initial mix to make sure all of the tomatoes were broken down. Sample your sauce during the cooking process and add more seasoning or salt to taste.

Once your sauce has reached the desired consistency you will want to start the canning process. Make sure that all of your jars have been washed with hot, soapy water or run through the dishwasher. Put your jars and lids in the hot water bath and begin filling your hot jars with the hot sauce, adding 1/4 tsp of citric acid per pint. Process your jars in the hot water bath for 35 minutes. Remove the jars to a heavy towel and allow them to cool completely, best overnight. Repeat until all of your sauce has been jarred and processed. Once the jars have cooled I remove the rings and shelve them.

Since there was some sauce left in my kettle we had pizza for dinner last night.

I like a thin, crispy crust. Pizza toppings included italian sausage, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and peperoncini. Homemade crust, homemade sauce…doesn’t get much better.

NOTE: The ingredients in this sauce are definitely not limited to pizza. The sauce can be used in all kinds of applications including pasta dishes, on a meatloaf, or chicken or eggplant Parmesan. Also, you can modify the spices per your personal preference. The carrots in this recipe help to thicken the sauce, and also add some sweetness without the addition of sugar. And maybe eating more pizza will help your eyesight. 🙂

There was one special, heart shaped tomato in this peck!

Making your own sauce is not difficult. If you have the time and the inclination you’ll be glad that you did.

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