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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Canning Tomatoes: Spaghetti Sauce (Episode 3)

Homemade spaghetti sauce is awesome!

But it certainly takes all afternoon to make... so why not make a huge batch of it and can it?! This will save you time later on... open a jar, dump it in the pot and you're ready to go!!! The best part is YOU know what's in that sauce and how GOOD it will be for you and your family!

What You Need:
Amounts are for ONE quart (7 quarts or full canner = amounts in BOLD)

3 lbs (21 lbs) of roma tomatoes
1/2 cup (3 1/2 cups) chopped onion
1 clove (7 cloves) of garlic, minced
2 tsps (14 tsps) basil (dried or fresh)
1/2 tsp (3 1/2 tsps) salt (optional)
1 Tbsp (7 Tbsp) oregano
1 Tbsp (7 Tbsp) sugar or honey (optional)
1/8 tsp (about 1 tsp) black pepper
1 Tbsp (7 Tbsp) lemon juice (to help with acidity for processing the jars)
4 Tbsp (1-2 cups) red wine (optional)

For Full Canner Batch, have fun with adding veggies and thickening agents to your sauce and of course you can also adjust the taste even more later when you are fixing the spaghetti for dinner.

2 small cans+ tomato paste (or more if you like it really thick)
1 pint+ pureed veggies (I used cauliflower)
3-4 cups diced squash (summer, zuchinni, eggplant, etc.)
Bell Pepper, etc.

To begin, you will need to turn your fresh tomatoes into sauce. Follow my directions for doing this in my Canning Tomatoes: Sauce (Episode 1) post.

Once you have your sauce juiced and ready to go... you will need to boil it and reduce it down so that it thickens up a bit. As the sauce is boiling, keep stirring it as you prepare the other ingredients. Chop up your onions and veggies (if you are adding them) and saute them with some oil and the garlic so that everything softens up. Combine your spices and mix them with the sauted veggies. If you want to add paste to the sauce, you can stir it into the veggies and spices and once the sauce has reduced down, you can combine everything into the biggest pot you have (or two) and let it simmer for the afternoon. The longer you let it cook, the better it will get!!! Just check it every so often and give it a good stir.

The process for canning the spaghetti is fairly simple. Fill the HOT jars with boiling HOT spaghetti sauce and leave 1/4-1/2 inch head-space, screw down the lids and process them for 30 minutes in your canner. 

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