Is that a recycled store-bought jelly jar? Reduce, reuse, recycle, peeps. That's all I'm sayin'.
So, first, I did a little batch as a trial run. I wanted to see if I could get a decent flavor before pouring tons of precious garden bounty and time into canning. The trial batch was used on pizza and earned this sauce the right to live in a jar.
Last year I had my first canning experience with pear preserves. I don't even really like pear preserves, but I have a friend who has a pear tree and she doesn't eat pears. Free produce = opportunity to experiment with canning. It was successful; so, I had the courage to keep on experimenting.
This summer another friend was kind enough to give me lessons in canning tomato juice and salsa. Tonight I decided to venture out on my own and try a sauce recipe posted by a friend on Facebook.
Here is her post, including the original recipe and her changes.
Ok, here's the original spaghetti sauce recipe [...]
24 c tomatoes
4 c chopped onions
18 T olive oil
6 T garlic
36 oz tomato paste
6 T oregano
6 T basil
6 bay leaves
4 T salt
6 T sugar
I made a few changes.
I used heirloom Russian Krim, black cherry and beefsteak varieties. I blend them whole in my Vitamix. (too lazy to peel)
Instead of dried basil and oregano- I used fresh from my garden. About 3 c each.Chopped.
I added a couple of pinches of red pepper for some heat.
Only had one 15 oz can of tomato paste.
Boiled to reduce by half. (took abt 12 hrs!)
Used red wine vinegar to increase acidity.
Water bath canned for 55 min for altitude.
And now, for my changes...
I only had about 15 tomatoes, including San Marzano, Hillbilly, and some GMO variety from a local farmer. =/ I used my own fresh basil and oregano, approximately 5-6 basil leaves and about a 6 inch stem of oregano (leaves only) for every 3 tomatoes. I used pearl onions from the local Amish, about one per every 3 toms. And a clove of garlic for every tom. I also used one carrot, because I had read (while researching how to can spaghetti sauce) that it would make it sweeter.
You may have noticed - no tomato paste. I started to buy some yesterday at the store, but I just couldn't bring myself to add something already canned to my fresh produce.
So, I pureed all that yummy freshness in my Ninja, cocked my head at the coloration, and poured the yellow-orange mixture in a pan. I was a little concerned at this point that I would have pale sauce since several of my tomatoes were yellow (Hillbilly tomatoes are yellow/red). I was also concerned that I would never get it to cook down; it was very juicy since I pureed the whole tomato. I brought the yellow-orange soup to a boil and added about a teaspoon of salt and sugar and a couple of splashes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I boiled it down until it was the consistency (and color) I wanted (amazingly, this only took about an hour) and canned. YUM!