Farm Fresh Sweet Tomato Sauce

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When a co-worker, who’s also a farmer, offers you a great deal on a 15 pound box of tomatoes from their farm…you don’t say no. So this past weekend I cooked up some serious tomato sauce.

It was about a month ago when I posted a pasta recipe including some homemade tomato sauce I made. Well this time I changed a few things, and think it turned out ten times better. Check it out below!

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Yield: 4 quarts sauce, 8 cups juice

Ingredients: 

  • 15 pounds very ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small fresh bunch basil, chopped
  • 2 tbl fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tbl fresh thyme, chopped

What to do: 

  • Get your tomato preparation station ready! Bring a large pot of water to a boil, while you set out a large glass bowl with cold water.  Next to the bowl, set out another large bowl, or large plate, for collecting the tomato skins.
  • Once the pot of water is boiling, add in as many tomatoes as will fit, while still covered with water. Blanch the tomatoes, cooking for about 1-2 minutes until the skins begin to split.
  • Quickly transfer the tomatoes into the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Once the tomatoes have cooled, peel them setting the skins aside and the remainder of the tomato in a separate large pot.
  • Repeat this until all your tomatoes are blanched and peeled.
  • Crush the tomatoes slightly to break the larger ones apart. Crush them completely if you don’t want your tomato sauce somewhat chunky. At this point I ladled out several cups of thin tomato juice to help my sauce become thicker. I used the tomato juice as the broth in a lentil soup later on.
  • Bring the crushed tomatoes to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about an hour and a half. During this time much of the liquid will evaporate, concentrating the flavors.
  • When the sauce is nearly the consistency you want, add in the chopped herbs. Cook for a few more minutes, then remove the pot from the heat, and allow the sauce to cool. Once cool, portion into four quart size mason jars. I left about 10% space in my jars, as I’ll be freezing them (liquid expands when frozen).

You may think that an hour and a half is a long time to cook the sauce, however I guarantee you’ll be amazed by the sweet tomato flavor. And plus, the extended cooking time makes the lycopene in the tomatoes more available for your body to absorb. 🙂

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