We have been picking baskets of tomatoes from the garden each day. There is so much that you can do with a garden tomato however, I do believe my favorite is eating them fresh picked from the vine with some cottage cheese, salt and pepper. My next favorite is making spaghetti sauce with them- Yum!! You can see that we have cherry tomatoes in our baskets as well. We don’t use those for spaghetti sauce, those are just for eating fresh with salt, pepper, or adding to our salads. What a treat!
Now, remember if you haven’t had a harvest of tomatoes from your garden you might find a neighbor or local farmer with an excess. Pray about it, God will provide! I know that from personal experience! At any rate, I am sure there are 100 recipes out there for spaghetti sauce. This one is my favorite because it uses everything from my garden. I love the way it fills the house up with the flavors of Italy! If you like a thick sauce you’ll want to add a can or two of tomato paste to the recipe. Remember, if your family isn’t as large as ours you might want to cut this recipe in half or even smaller. Please feel free to write if you have questions.
Because of His Love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
Garden Style Spaghetti Sauce:
40-50lbs of tomatoes
4 tsp of fresh cut basil
4 bulbs of garlic
4 tsp of fresh cut oregano
4 green peppers
1/2 cup lemon juice (helps to acidify it. )
salt and pepper to taste.
Tip for peeling tomatoes easily: You will need a pan of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Once your water begins to boil add approximately 4 tomatoes let them boil for just a few moments then place them in the bowl of cold water for a few moments. The skin will peal away nicely with this process. Don’t be tempted to just leave the peels on. They become quite rubbery in the sauce and not enjoyable to eat.
Directions for sauce: Peel tomatoes then cut in half and remove as many seeds as possible (You don’t have to get each and every seed just the majority of them). Then let strain and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Place all your tomatoes in a large stock pot and boil down, you can mash them from time to time if you choose. Add your fresh herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper and allow it to simmer down. If you have other ingredients your family would enjoy feel free to add them. Get creative and make it a dish your family will savor! I normally start my sauce in the morning and can it prior to going to bed. (Aprox. 12 hours of cooking it down). Of course we take some out of the pot come dinner time. I don’t think we have ever made a pot of this sauce and not eaten it at the same time. Remember, if you like thick sauce you will definitely want to add the paste in otherwise the sauce is very thin. This makes almost 2 gallons of sauce that can be put away for winter.
Putting away your home made spaghetti sauce: Once your sauce is made and you are ready to can it. Simply get your clean jars and lids. I use half gallon size since that is how much our family uses at one setting. I would encourage you to can it in the size that you need for your family meals. If you would prefer to freeze your sauce you can do that easily by simply putting your sauce into a Ziplock bag and freezing flat on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, you can take them off the cookie sheet and stack them nicely in your freezer for easy use when you’re ready.
To can them do the following:
Fill your jars to the neck with sauce
Place your jars in a canning pot and fill with water. Make sure the water does cover the tops of your jars about an inch. Bring the water to a boil and let it continue to boil for about 40mins. You can find all the times you need for canning from your local county extension. In fact, that is how I learned to can. I simply called my local office and then went in and picked up the variety of publications they had on the subject. I have found that the county extension is normally a very helpful resource! I would encourage you to contact your office and see how they might be able to help you with gardening, pest management, canning or an assortment of other projects.
Once you have boiled your sauce for the time required, carefully remove the jars from the pot and allow them to cool on the counter. You don’t want to bump them or put them on the counter to hard. I have had many jars break that way. Once they cool you will notice that all the lids are sealed. You can tell this because of how they sink down in the middle of the lid. If you can press on the lid and it has give and bounce to it then your jars are not sealed! They must seal properly to be stored on the shelf.
It might sound overwhelming or difficult but truthfully, spaghetti sauce is very easy to make and put away. Enjoy!!