I’ve done it.
I’ve made pasta sauce in all of it’s glory, and I’m thinking about making some more. Because that’s what people with no time on their hands do. Add more to the list.
For this particular batch I did have to buy tomatoes because only ONE roma tomato had ripened enough to use by the time I started this batch, and really. ONE ROMA? My sadness will be overcome one of these days, as I just picked about ten more, but ten pounds they ain’t so we’re going to have to plant SEVERAL plants of them next spring. I’m learning. That’s the joy in this entire process. Not being pinterest perfect, yet still being able to smile through it all because – HEY! I MADE PASTA SAUCE!
While I’m on the subject, apparently my tomatoes were much larger than what was used in the recipe that I tweaked, because 10 pounds of tomatoes yielded four and a half pints of pasta sauce. Wonderfully thick, and simple pasta sauce. I didn’t do too much seasoning, because we like to change the pasta sauce up as we make pastas. Sometimes we like sweeter, other times we like savory, but we ALWAYS like garlic. Nothing is complete without garlic. Did you hear me? NOTHING! Not even pickles, I know because I added garlic to those too. Garlic for everyone!
Just so you know, I’m not a canning expert, and I canned my first items a couple of years ago, and documented them on my blogspot days of blogging. You know, when photos didn’t require you take a professional grade photographers course. Anyhoo, I’m still not professional grade, but I have improved on that lighting issue, and now you can tell that I do have tomatoes and garlic to boot! Back to canning. I’ve canned plenty of things. Applesauce, apple butter, EXTRACT, james, preserves, but I didn’t do any pasta sauce because I felt that I didn’t have the time or energy to do. I was wrong on both accounts. While it is time-consuming, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought. I will wait until the end of the harvest season to do another large batch of pasta sauce, because my kitchen got HOT!
Somewhere in this process, I stopped taking photos. I’m sure it was because I was ridiculously overheated, and picking up a camera to photograph sauce was directly messing with my ability to reason correctly. All I could see was my Nikon falling into a large vat of red sauce never to be saved. So, you will have no photos of the blending process, or the thickening process until I do it again. We’ll pretend the photos ARE here, and then you’ll pretend not to notice when I do upload them from the second batch of sauce that I make.
I used a loose version of the Ball Canning recipe, since I was in fact using Ball Canning jars, and because I still haven’t heard anyone tell me a tried an true recipe for pasta sauce. If you’re my friend, you should see that as a challenge and comment with your favorite recipe.
During #CanItForward, I was able to purchase this canning kit for a sweet $5 – I think that the price is still in tact if you want to mosey on over to the site and see. We’re still waiting for video from the day, but why not purchase some of your tools while you wait. While I was sterilizing the jars (and also keeping them hot so that nothing shattered when I poured hot pasta sauce into them) I chopped everything up. Garlic (loads more than they called for, onion, and the romas. Yes, there is a random pickling cucumber in there. Some days, set up of shots just doesn’t go my way. I also cut up way more garlic than you see on the cutting board, because garlic is just that good. Didn’t I mention that already?
Of course you must saute,
While this is happening, quarter your tomatoes. And then admire how pretty they look in your yellow mixing bowl from World Market.
Add them to a pot that is large enough to handle ten pounds of tomatoes (how did they DO this back in the day?! Oh, that’s right. HUGE pots and wood burning stoves) and smell the smell of victory. Note: I added the basil before I was supposed to, but that didn’t stop my parade.
And you cook them until they simmer down into a nice bubbly, chunky, red mess of flavors.
After it has boiled down enough, you can ladle enough into a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth. Strain out the seeds and skin through a sieve and VOILA! Homemade pasta sauce. You’ll notice that I didn’t really add to many seasonings other than salt and pepper because we like to play around with the flavors of our pasta sauce when we decide to make pasta. Some days, we like adding meat, others, we like adding just mushrooms and tons more seasonings. It’s all about how you’re feeling, right?
I will say this, it got hot in this kitchen of mine, and reminded me why I don’t do too much stove top cooking in the summertime. Other than that, I love what I cam up with, although I think the next time, I may cook a bit longer to let it thicken up more. This sauce came out pretty thick, but I know we can get a richer texture for sure!
So, tell me something. Do you have a favorite pasta sauce recipe? Did I miss something? Should I add more? Do you have a foolproof way of making pasta sauce? Comment below and let me know. Fall is coming upon us, and I want to make sure I have my canned goods locked and loaded for the winter season!