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Canning Tomatoes - Italian Tomato Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce is the best. It is not very difficult and a good way to use up all those extra tomatoes that will taste so great in the middle of winter. The blend below is for an Italian flavored tomato. You can vary the herbs to create whatever flavor is your favorite. Don't be afraid to use tomatoes with bad places, just cut them out. We just mix all the varieties together in the sauce and we like our really chunky. You can dice your tomatoes to suit your taste.

Servings: 7 quarts     Prep time: 2 hrs more or less     Cooking time: 85 min (1 hr 25 min)
    Cooling time: 2 hrs more or less
Utensils: 7 quart jars with lids and rings, 7 quart canner, lifting ring, cutting board, paring knife, chef's knife, scrap bowl, ice bath bowl, cookie sheet, large stock pot, food processor, spaghetti pot with basket, canning funnel, measuring cup.

Canned Tomatoes
20 lbs fresh tomatoes - blanched, peeled, diced
4 tsp citric acid
7 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tab brown sugar
3 tab balsamic vinegar
1 tsp pepper
5 tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
cup fresh oregano leaves
cup fresh rosemary leaves
cup fresh thyme
1 cup chopped onion

Directions

Sterilize jars and lids. A spaghetti pot with a strainer works very well for blanching. Bring one full of water to a low boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cut any bad places out of the tomatoes but leave the stems intact. Working in small batches that submerge in the boiling water. Blanch for 2 min 15 sec and remove to ice water bath. Let cool down. First cut the core out of the tomato. The skin will usually easily pull off. If not use a paring knife to grasp the edge and remove all of the skin. Chop the tomato either course or fine as you prefer and place in the large pot. A cookie sheet under a small cutting board is useful for catching the juice that runs off when dicing, save this juice. Dice onion and mix with the tomatoes. Bring the canning pot to a low boil.

If you want plain tomatoes you only need to add the critic acid and salt. For flavored tomatoes like ours add all ingredients except the tomatoes and onions to a food processor and pulse until a pesto like consistency. Stir into the tomatoes. Pack the jars with tomatoes and fill to the top of the neck with the juice. Make sure the jar mouth is clean of all tomato juice or the lids will not seal. Place the lids and rings on the jars. Be sure you wash your hands before handling the lids. Place the jars in the boiling canning bath. Add enough water to cover the tops of the jars. Bring back to a boil and start timer. Keep at a very low boil for 85 min. Remove jars to counter let cool at room temperature. You should hear the lids pop as they suck down. When cooled the lids should be concave. If they are domed your jars did not seal. Use your leftover tomato juice to make vinaigrette. Vinaigrette recipe.

Place any leftover tomatoes in the refrigerator. They will keep several days. If you have any jars which did not seal. Place in the refrigerator when cooled and use within the next few days.

Alternative Recipe Ideas

  • Use a Mexican spice blend using cumin, chili peppers, chili powder, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and citric acid.
  • Any combinations of fresh herbs that suits your taste.
  • Canned Tomatoes Pesto spice mix

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