We planted three different types of tomatoes this year. Roma, big boy, and cherry. Last year our tomatoes did terribly, but if you follow me on Facebook you’ve probably seen our garden this year. We decided to switch things up and we made raised garden beds, created our own super soil mix, and experimented with square-foot gardening for the first time. All of the elements together have made for an awesome growth year for us. I knew that I didn’t want to make salsa this year because I made it last year, so on tap for our bounty of tomatoes was pizza sauce (and spaghetti sauce coming up later this week). As the hubs and I have been getting away from processed foods as much as we can – I was very excited to bottle up some garden fresh goodness to last us through the winter months. We are always eating pita pizzas and next week I’ll share with you a fabulous whole wheat pizza crust that you can pair with this delicious sauce. I was able to round up 12 lbs of tomatoes (which I feel is pretty respectable from a garden made for two) and so the measurements in parenthesis are for that quantity. If you have a large amount of tomatoes too, I’ve added them for yours and mine simplicity. Enjoy!
- 1 tbsp. (6) olive oil
- 1 tbsp. (6) minced garlic (about two or three large cloves)
- 1 tsp. (6) dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano (if using fresh, add at the end of the cooking time)
- 2 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) diced tomatoes (undrained) or 2 (12) pounds diced fresh tomatoes
- 1 tsp. (6) sugar
- ½ tsp. (3) red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. (3) kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Prepare canner, jars and lids. Wash and sort your tomatoes. Blanch for 30-60 seconds in boiling water to quickly remove skins. Quarter tomatoes; set aside. In a large saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Depending on whether or not you are using fresh or dried oregano will determine when you will add it to your sauce. If you’re using dried oregano, add that along with the garlic. If you’re using fresh, add it to the sauce at the end of the cooking time. Increase the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Keep temperature at medium heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Reduce heat to low to simmer. Simmer uncovered for 90 minutes; stirring occasionally. Stir in fresh oregano, if using. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender, blend until smooth. Ladle hot sauce into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more sauce sauce. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 35 minutes and quart jars for 40 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
- [My 2 Cents]
- The red pepper flakes add the perfect little kick. But be careful - they pack a power punch. For my 12 lbs. of tomatoes I did not increase the red pepper flakes and my sauce is STILL a bit spicy. In fact, I almost wish I would have used just a touch less. So, if you do plan to use the flakes - just be careful with your measurements. I'd hate to have you waste an entire batch because it is too spicy.