This year we decided to start our tomatoes with seeds rather than buying plants already started. We were very blessed with several seedlings which have now turned into bushels of tomatoes. One of the best perks of gardening is seeing the fruits of your labor. We decided to preserve our tomatoes by turning them into pizza sauce!
What was so special about making this pizza sauce, was that it was the recipe that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. Sadly, I never had the blessing to meet our grandma Hazel, but I was honored to make her pizza sauce using her sauce pot that was left to Jason and I. You will see this pot in the photos below.
Step 1. Grow or Buy Tomatoes
You’ll need approximately a 1/2 bushel of tomatoes. You can grow this on your own or buy them from your local market.
Step 2. Peel and Puree Tomatoes
Wash your tomatoes and remove the leaves while looking out for rotten tomatoes. We bought a Weston Food Strainer and Sauce Maker and it was a HUGE headache saver! This saved us so much time and made the process go a lot smoother and quicker.
Step 3. Prepare Your Ingredients & Add to Pot
For our recipe we used:
– 1/2 Bushel of Ripe Tomatoes
– 7 Cloves of Minced Garlic
– 3 Onions
– 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
– 1/2 Cup of Sugar
– 1 TBS of Salt
– 64 oz. of Tomato Paste
Step 5. Bring to a Boil then Reduce Heat and Cook for up to 2-3 hours on a Simmer
You want to cook sauce on a low boil until mixture is reduced by about ½, stirring occasionally.
Step 6. Gather your Canning Supplies
To reduce the risk of Botulism add 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice to each jar.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
Step 7. Ladle the Sauce
When the sauce is done and nicely thickened, ladle into hot pint size jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Clean the rims (top of each jar) with a damp paper towel, and seal by placing lids on until finger tight.
Step 8. Place Jars In Water Bath
First, check to see that your water bath rack is secure (You don’t want to place jars on the rack and it not is secure. This can break your jars and could burn you badly with boiling water.) Bring water to a rolling boil.
Using your jar grip lifter, place each pint jar on the rack as shown in the video below.
After jars are placed on the rack, CAREFULLY lower the rack using both hands and a firm grip. See Video below. Make sure water is 1.5 to 2 inches above the jar lids. Add more water if need be. Do not submerge until the water in the pot is at a rolling boil.
Step 9. Wait 35 Minutes
Place lid on a water bath and wait. Set a timer for 35minutes.
Step 10. Remove
When the timer goes off, turn the burner off and wait 5 minutes to lift and remove jars with your jar lifter. Be careful when removing the lid as hot steam can burn you badly. Gently lift up the rack and secure on both sides of the canner as it was when you began. Carefully remove each jar one at a time onto a flat surface safely away from children and animals. Place a towel on the surface to place your jars on to cool and seal.
~BONUS: Save your Tomatoes Skins~
After growing, picking and preserving the tomatoes, we want to use up everything we can so nothing goes to waste! You can make tomato powder using the skins and seeds of your tomatoes. We ran the skins through the Weston strainer three times to squeeze out as much juice as possible. We then placed the skins on the rack of the dehydrator. Can’t wait to add this to some omelets!
After they dried, I used a food processor to finely grind up the flakes to make a nice powder.