Canning Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

I’m canning my tomato sauce for the first time this year. Last year I just froze it in freezer bags, which is easier. Unless the power goes out. ;(  Plus, I like the idea of using reusable glass containers rather than plastic bags.

Dog Island Farm has a great post which sums up everything you need to know about using a hot water bath for canning tomatoes. You need to add lemon juice these days, which I knew…but here she gives you amounts and times and everything in one place. Very useful!

A food mill takes the skins and seeds out pretty quickly. I think the one I have came from my mom!  It gets the seeds and skins out of the tomato sauce. I also have an attachment for my KitchenAid mixer which does the same thing but for this quantity the hand cranked one works great.

What I’m canning tonight is what follows. The earlier batch was a plain one (without garlic, oil or basil) so I can use that tomato sauce in a variety of dishes. These ones will be for pizza and pasta.

Canning Tomato Sauce

  • 6 pounds Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 10-20 cloves of garlic, sliced or crushed
  • 10-20 basil leaves, torn into pieces or cut into shreds
  • salt to taste
  • pepperoncino flakes to taste
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice per pint jar

Fill your canner with water and add pint jars, This made 5 pint jars for me. Bring to a simmer. In a small saucepan add the lids and bring to a simmer, then turn onto low.

Heat a big pot of boiling water and add the tomatoes in two batches, cooking just a few minutes to break the skin down. Drain and run them through your food mill to take out the skin and seeds.

Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the garlic and cook a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes after running through the food mill and cook at a low simmer 20 minutes or longer, depending on how thick you like your sauce. Add the basil and pepper flakes and cook another 5 minutes or so.

Remove the jars from the canner and carefully empty them (pouring the hot water back into the canner). Put them on a towel. Add 1 Tbs lemon juice to each jar. Fill jars with tomato sauce, leaving 1/2" headroom. Remove air bubbles and top off if needed. Wipe off the rims of the jars if needed. Put the lids on the jars, then the rings and hand tighten. Put back into your canner and process at a boil for 35 minutes.

Carefully remove the jars and place on a towel on your counter. You should hear the PING of the lids sealing fairly quickly. Leave out for 24 hours and check the seals by pressing down on the lids. (There should be no give.)

If any jars don't seal properly, store in the refrigerator.

I’m NOT an expert canner by any means so please refer to sites like the Ball Canning Recipes. Here’s their version of a tomato basil tomato sauce that is pretty close to mine. There’s lots of other good info there, too.