If you dared to put tomato plants in your garden in early spring, by late summer you will be happily overwhelmed with a bounty of red, ripe tomatoes. While warm and freshly-picked from the garden, a couple of sliced tomatoes add to a meal as a side dish or as a topping for a hamburger.
But what about the bushel of tomatoes you picked? It is time to make tomato sauce to be stored away and used during the winter months in recipes for spaghetti, marinara, and pizza sauces. As a matter of fact, you may never open another can of tomato sauce after experiencing this fresh, frozen tomato sauce.
You will need:
- Large pot
- Slotted spoon
- Large bowl
- Food mill
- Containers for freezing
- Thoroughly rinse off tomatoes.
- Remove stems and discard.
- Using the large pot, fill halfway with water, and bring to a boil.
- In groups of 4-6 tomatoes, gently place in boiling water.
- When the skins begin to split and pull away from meat of tomato, using slotted spoon, remove from water and set aside to cool.
- Continue this process until all tomatoes have been blanched.
- Once tomatoes have cooled, remove skins and discard.
- Cut each tomato in half.
- Place skinned tomato halves in food mill and process.
- Discard seeds out of the food mill anytime they build up and start to clog the mill.
- Pour liquid into large pot and bring to a boil.
- Let cool.
You have now made a very basic tomato sauce. This can be cooled and poured into liquid-tight containers and placed in the freezer.
- Be sure to leave space in the containers for the tomato sauce to expand as it freezes.
- Title the containers so you will know when you are pulling out a package of tomato sauce.
If you are interested in making a more complex tomato sauce before placing in freezer, you will need:
8 cups basic tomato sauce (see above)
2 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil.
- Add chopped onions and saute until translucent.
- Add chopped garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute briefly.
- Pour 8 cups basic tomato sauce and stir.
- Bring to a simmer and let the mixture gently bubble for about 5 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Pour into containers and freeze.
- Mark containers appropriately.