Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce

I made the following to use just as a base spaghetti sauce. That way I can make it spicy or add more onions, garlic, etc.

20 pounds washed, peeled, cored and chopped tomatoes
6 medium onions, chopped fine
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup oregano
1/4 cup basil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Blanch and peel the tomatoes and set aside in bowl.
Blanching process: Drop the tomatoes into the rapidly boiling water. Pay attention to them as within 60 seconds their skin should split. Immediately remove them from the water with the slotted spoon and dip them into the cold water. After about a minute, remove them from the water and remove their skins. They should slip right off. If not, use a sharp paring knife to remove any stubborn spots.

2. Chop the onions and garlic. I use a food processor and it makes it 1000x easier! Then put them in a LARGE saute pan with a little bit of olive oil and saute. Keep your eye on them and stir them often until the onions are clear.

3. While the onions and garlic are in the saute pan, core and chop all the tomatoes. Again, I use a food processor. Add to a LARGE pot on the stove. I start on low and as I get more in the pot I up it to a med-high heat.

4. Add the onions and garlic.

5. Add all the fresh herbs, salt, pepper, red pepper, and sugar. With the fresh herbs I didn't really measure. The herbs should not affect the acid level, so I just added what I thought looked good. I also added a little rosemary.

6. Simmer about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

7. Put your empty jars into the dishwasher and start. That way when you are ready to pack them they are hot!

When canning tomatoes by themselves, it is recommended that acid should be added to lower the pH level. This can be done by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid per pint of product. For quarts, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid. This may be done by adding directly to jars before filling. Also, be sure to leave 1/2-inch head space. Wipe rim and screw threads and adjust lids and screw bands.

I pressured cooked my jars at 12 lbs for 15 minutes.

Makes 24 pints.

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