Friday, May 13, 2011

Spaghetti Sauce (Fresh or Canned)

Many people have been asking for some good canning recipes.  This is a spaghetti sauce recipe for fresh herbs.  If you don't have fresh ones, you can substitute for dried ones.   Dried herbs are typically more concentrated and potent, so you wont need as much, if you are substituting.  The ratio is typically 3 times more fresh herbs than dried herbs. I also have a dried herbs recipe called JJ's Spaghetti Sauce.  Either one, you can "can".

There is no spaghetti sauce out there that compares to homemade sauce.  If you are eating it for dinner tonight, canning or freezing some for later or both... the steps are the same up until it's time to pour it into the jars. You will need a HUGE pot.  I used my pressure cooker because I didn't have a pot big enough. 
REMEMBER:  Taste as you go and add spices, salt, etc as needed.  It does need to boil for at least 30 minutes before the flavors really combine so don't add anything extra before that!
Spaghetti Sauce (Fresh or Canned)

25 lbs tomatoes (about 9-10 quarts blended) ( I used Roma's this time)
1  6lb 10 oz can of tomato puree (Costco)
10 large bay leaves
4 medium onions diced
1 ½ tbsp minced garlic
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups fresh herbs of your choice.  (This is what I used)
½ cup parsley
½ cup basil
4 tbsp oregano
4 sprigs of rosemary
3 tbsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram (ground, not fresh) (optional)
¼ cup salt
2 tbsp pepper
 lots of ice

Prepare Tomatoes:  Cut the stem area out of the tomato. (or just slice the top off to save time)
Slice an "x" about 1/4 inch deep on the bottom of the tomato (this allows the skin to peel really easy when boiled.)

Drop tomatoes a few at a time into boiling water. Boil for 30-60 seconds, until skin softens and starts to peel back.  Remove and immediately place into a bowl of ice water. It melts fast, so keep adding ice as needed.
When cool enough to touch, peel the skins and discard. You can blend the tomatoes to make a smoother sauce or just smash with a potato masher.  Pour tomatoes and herbs into a huge stock pot.

In a skillet, add olive oil, garlic and onions. Saute until tender and then add to the pot.

Boil for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  After 30 minutes, taste and add flavors according to desired tastes.  Boil down to desired thickness.

It's ready to serve or if you are canning the sauce, continue

You will need to add 3 tbsp of vinegar per quart jar. Pour sauce into clean jars leaving 1 inch of head space. Wipe rim clean with a damp paper towel. Screw on lids and place into a water bath.  Boil for 40 minutes. Pull out with canning tongs and let cool on a towel on a flat surface.

TIP:  If you are adding vegetables to your sauce, you will need to to pressure cook it at 11 lbs of pressure for 30 min for pints and 35 minutes for quarts.

If you want to put meat in it, you will need to pressure cook it at 11 lbs of pressure for 75 min for pints or 90 for quarts.

What is a water bath? A water bath is basically a huge pot that will cover your jars with about two inches of water.  You can buy a water bath or just use a tall pot. You will need to bring the water to a boil and then start the timer.  The water needs to boil the entire time.

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