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.
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.