Homemade Tomato Sauce
The preferred way to make homemade tomato sauce is to use a plum tomato If you don’t have San Marzano tomatoes, you can use other plum tomatoes, like Romas (used here).
The reason to use plum tomatoes is they have less water and will take less time to reduce to make a delicious sauce. And the skin is meatier, where the garden variety tomatoes you are used to, are more watery. Each are great, when you use them to their purpose.
We’ve added a lot of spices to this sauce and then processed to get the flavors in the sauce, leaving a smooth sauce.
1/2 bushel Roma tomatoes, washed & tops removed (about 18 pounds)
2 cups onions
6 Tablespoons fresh oregano (or 3 Tablespoons dried)
3 Tablespoons garlic
3 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
6 bay leaves
6 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt
water bath canner
enamel canning pot
food mill (electric or manual)
pint canning jars, bands and seals
Wash the Roma tomatoes to remove any dirt.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and cut in half, place into enamel pot. Inspect and remove any bad spots/tomatoes.
Add the onions, oregano, garlic, sugar, pepper and bay leaves. Stir and place on stop on medium heat.
Stir to keep from burning in the pot for 1 1/2 hours, until thick. Tomatoes will begin to break down and reduce.
Prepare the food mill station to receive the tomatoes.
Remove from heat and process in the food mill.
Wash out the enamel pan, and place the juice back into the pan.
Add the red wine vinegar and salt into the mix.
Put back on the stove for 45 minutes to an hour, to reduce further (less water = thicker sauce).
Remove from heat and ladle into the jars, leaving 1/2″ head space.
Place seals and bands on the jars and hand tighten.
Process the jars for 35 minutes in water bath canner for pints 40 minutes for quarts (adjust for elevation).
- Reduce reduction time by letting the tomatoes drain out extra juice in the fridge in a colander, if you have the space and time (we did not do this)
- Start this early in the day, as the cooking time is 3 hours and processing is another 35-40 minutes per batch.
- Makes about 14-15 pints or about 7 quarts
- Taste as you go, you might decide you want to add more spices to your taste
- The sauce is not super thick, like a paste. It will be between a soup and a paste consistency when done.
- If you notice you have burned the tomatoes, do not attempt to scrap it while you have the sauce in there or it will go throughout the tomatoes and ruin the batch (it will all taste burnt). You should be able to use if you avoid scraping out the burn into the mix.