I know it’s not summer and tomatoes are still small seeds waiting to sprout, but after a comment came in about how to
can tomatoes today, I had to get down a jar of homemade marinara and eat few spoonfuls. There is nothing like fresh, chunky marinara sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, and onions from the garden.
Because I do not use measuring cups or spoons, I’m glad to share with you my basic ingredients and preparation process. It’s up to you, the culinary artist, to create a marinara that is just right for your own palate.
Fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes (approximately 8 cups), 2 large cans of organic tomato paste, 1 medium sized sweet or yellow onion chopped, 4 large cloves of garlic pressed or minced, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh oregano and basil, dried Italian seasonings, lemon juice (if canning), salt and pepper
If using fresh tomatoes, remove peeling by soaking in hot water until peeling cracks. Dunk in ice water until cool to touch and slough off peeling. Run fresh or canned tomatoes in food processor or blender until desired texture. Because I like my sauce thick, I usually drain off or squeeze out a lot of the juice from the tomatoes then pulse in processor for a thick consistency.
In large pot, generously drizzle olive oil. Toss in chopped onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat until soft but not browned. Pour in tomatoes and stir. Add both cans of paste and stir until incorporated.
Add a couple of splashes (2 tbsp) of balsamic vinegar. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil and a handful of chopped fresh oregano. Stir while shaking in some dried Italian seasonings, salt and pepper.
If you are going to can the sauce, you must add the juice of 1 lemon or the juice and pulp of half a lemon. This increases the acidity to the desired level for canning.
Cook on medium heat until a simmer, stirring occasionally. If canning, continuing simmering with top on for at least 20 minutes. If not canning, reduce heat to low and let simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally.
Also makes a great pizza sauce!