Pasta Sauce

Ingredient List

30 Lbs. Tomatoes

1 Lg Onion, Chopped

2 Peppers, Chopped

6 Cloves Garlic, Minced

3 Tb. Oregano

3 Tb. Basil

3 Tb. Parsley

I wasn’t planning on doing this post, but our neighbor who is a farmer at a local farm brought over about 25 pounds of tomatoes for me to take care of. I added what I had in the freezer to get the 30 pounds. So, here ya have it! A pressure canning post on Pasta Sauce! I want to explain a few things. 1- There is a huge difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Good news! If you do not have a pressure canner, you can water bathe this recipe. You will just need to add 2 tb. lemon juice to each qt jar of sauce. Water bathing is easy enough, it just will heat up your house because of the long processing time for tomatoes. (usually 40 mins in a hard boil) Pressure canning is faster and it isn’t nearly as hot in the kitchen. It only takes 25 mins at 10 pounds of pressure. 2- I make a very basic sauce when I make pasta sauce. I don’t add sugar or meat to my sauce when I am canning it. I will doctor the sauce when I go to use it. So this is a very plain Jane sauce. Lets get to it!

So the first step is to prep the tomatoes. You want to core the tomatoes and remove any bad spots. Then place a few tomatoes in BOILING water for about 1 minute. Then take those tomatoes and immediately place them in a bowl of ICE COLD WATER. This makes it easy to peel the tomatoes. You can use tomatoes with the peels on them but during to canning process, the peels can turn into little twigs. So prefer to remove the peels. BUT do not throw them away. You can compost the peels or dehydrate the peels and grind them up and use them in soups later. After the peels are removed, you want to drain off excess water and remove the seeds.

After the tomatoes are prepared, place all the tomatoes in a stock pot. I actually had to use 3 different pots to boil the tomatoes down in. Keep the heat low so the tomatoes do not burn. Also leave the tomatoes uncovered so the extra water will evaporate from the pot. Stir every 15 minuets or so.

After the tomatoes have cooked down and are tender, I use my emulsion blender to blend them up to a nice puree texture. Continue cooking the tomatoes down. Once the tomatoes have reduced, you can combine pots so you don’t have 3 pots going at once. I managed to get rid of one pot and they both had 3.5 qts in each pot. I continue to simmer the tomatoes for about 12 hours. This is really up to you on how long you want to cook your tomatoes. I Like a thicker consistency.

Now It is time to prepare to finish the sauce. I chop the onion and garlic and start sauteing them until they are nice and tender.

I then add my peppers to the onions and garlic. Saute the peppers until they are tender.

You will want to place the peppers and onion mixture into the tomatoes. I had to pots going, so I made sure the each got appropriate amount. Keep that in mind if you are using several pots.

Now mix in the parsley, basil and oregano. Keep the sauce on low and simmer for about 15 more minutes. While the sauce is simmering, prepare your jars, lids and rings for canning. Make sure everything (all utensils and canning equipment are sterile)

I use quart size jars when I can tomato sauce. you want to fill the HOT JARS with HOT TOMATO SAUCE. I use the canning funnel to make this job easier. I wipe the top of the jar with a damp rag to be sure there is nothing on the rim.

Now you will want to place the lid and ring on to the jar. Be sure the ring is snug, but not TIGHT! Repeat this process until all the jars are filled for the 1st round of canning.

Now that the cars are filled and ready, place the jars into your pressure canner. Mine will hold 7 qt. size jars. A couple things to remember. 1- Be sure your jars are resting on the rack on the bottom of the canner. You don’t want the jars sitting directly on the bottom of the canner. It can cause too much heat and will break your jars. 2- READ YOUR INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR CANNER! Every canner is different. So be sure you read all the insurrections for your pressure canner. My canner instructs that I put water up to a certain line of the canner. It is about 1/3 of the way up the jars. Now you will want to secure the lid into place and turn on the stove.

Once the vent starts releasing a steady amount of steam, you place the weight over the vent hole and start watching the needle rise on your gauge. (My gauge is foggy, but you can see how it is on the 10 pounds of weight.) Once the canner has reached 10 pounds of pressure you can start your clock for 25 minutes. Do not let the pressure go under 10 pounds of pressure or you will have to start the time all over again. You don’t want the canner to reach more than 12-15 pounds of pressure because you could cause a big mess from an explosion. This is the worst part about canning. You have to keep an eye on the gauge.  I have an electric stove so it isn’t too terrible to keep the heat steady. With a gas stove it can be a little more of a challenge. After the 25 minutes are up, turn off your stove and walk away. Let the canner drop pressure slowly (leave the weight on the vent) and don’t mess with the canner. It usually takes about an hour for the canner to lose the pressure.

NOTE- The amount of time and pressure is based on the 1000ft or lower altitude. Check your altitude height and weight requirements for your area National Center For Home Food Preservation.

Once the pressure has dropped completely, remove the lid from the pressure canner. Lift the lid AWAY from you. There will still be steam and it will be hot! Then, using your jar lifter, remove the jars and place them on a towel 2 inches apart so they can cool. This is when you listen to the  “Ping” sound of the lids. Do not touch or disturb your jars for 24 hours.

Once the jars are cooled and sealed, remove the rings and wash the jars. There is almost always some over flow of the sauce on the outside of the jars. That is ok, just wash before your store your jars in a dark cool place.

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