Sunday, October 6, 2013

World War 3 Canning Spaghetti Sauce Day

Let me tell you that my house looks like a tornado went through it!  Our local grocery store throws veggies on clearance along with meat usually early in the morning and especially on Monday. I scored a few pounds of on the vine tomatoes. Only a few bad ones in the bunch for .79. Here's a few things to think about beforehand. How much sauce do you want? How many tomatoes will you need, are your jars the size you want?  Realistically I could have used about 5-6 pounds of tomatoes. With the small batch of tomatoes, I only got two quarts and some extra for a spaghetti dinner.

I knew I only had one size quart jars. Ball makes Mason jars in a variety of sizes.  I washed the lids and jars out with soapy water. They along with all the utensils I was going to use to process the jars were also placed in boiling water for about 5 minutes or so. Even the tongs.  The next step was to score the tomatoes with an x and place them in boiling water for a minute or so. Then off to a refreshing ice bath. Scoring the tomatoes makes the skin come off much easier. I had my daughter help peel all the skins off the tomatoes and I used a small paring knife to remove the spines and seeds. I also made a v incision to remove the stem. Save the juice and run it through a siv to add to the sauce.

Note: this is for sauce without meat. I use a large pot (actually a tamale steamer) and have enough water boiling so I can cover the jars. I can process 4-5 jars at a time. I also prefer to use dry herbs in this sauce. Also please keep kids away from the boiling sauce. I still have a scar from my Grandmas's sauce when I was 5 and it splattered in my face.

Spaghetti Sauce for Canning

5-6 lbs processed tomatoes
1 TBSP dried oregano
1/4 cup lemon juice (you need acidity for preserving)
3 cloves garlic
3 Bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 can tomato paste
1 TBSP sugar
4 Tbsp of a sweet red wine

If adding more veggies be sure to sautee' them first.

Keep the Mason jars warm in the boiling water. For bacterial  purposes, you need the jars to be hot and sanitized. This sauce is good to go within a half hour. No long hours of preparing. Add the tomatoes to a large pot and use a mashed potato masher to puree' them. Add all the seasonings and tomato paste, and lemon juice and let simmer on low. I had to go back several times and keep mashing the tomatoes. You may have to add a bit of water as the sauce boils down. Taste for seasoning and when you are happy with the sauce, grab the Mason jar out of the boiling water and make sure all of the water is out.
I used a sanitised ladle to pour the sauce into the jars. Next the sterilized lids and rings were placed on the jars. The jars need to be processed for 20-25 minutes. Use the tongs to lower the sealed jars back into the boiling water. Make sure the water covers the lids and place a lid on your pot. Boil or process. Once time is up, use the tongs to remove the processed jars. The sauce needs to cool overnight and then will be good in the pantry for over 6 months? No Mason jars? Then freeze the sauce in 1-2 cup portions in zip locs and pull out of the freezer when you need them.

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