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Spaghetti Sauce–Homemade and Preserved

April 19, 2012

After canning diced tomatoes and salsa, I ended up with about fifty pounds of leftover tomatoes from my U-Pick trip.  Smaller ones I set aside for salad making, and my husband made an awesome tomato/cucumber salad twice, and several of them I had picked green to make fried green tomatoes, but that still left with me with around thirty to thirty five pounds of tomatoes to finish off.  So to complex my tomato canning experience, I made homemade spaghetti sauce and canned it.  Hands down the best part of this was my husband volunteering to help me.  Not only did it take an hour less than it would have to have his help, it was a really nice way to spend some quality time together.  We joked around and worked together happily.  He’s an excellent cook, so I welcome his presence in the kitchen since his suggestions and ideas always work out wonderfully.

Generally I do not strictly follow a recipe

on this type of cooking.  I tend to read several sources and then wing it based on what I’ve read.  This time was no exception.  First I processed the tomatoes (see canning salsa post on how to process tomatoes easily).  After skinning them and instead of dicing them, my husband crushed them.  This was easier and it made them more liquid for the consistency I wanted for my spaghetti sauce.  I cut up and added green peppers, onion, fresh garlic, sea salt and pepper.  I also added a wonderful Italian seasonings mix I got from a local Italian market.  I highly recommend finding small custom markets for seasonings.  They are often cheaper and so much better.

Then, I let it cook for a long time so it would reduce.  Once it got to my desired thickness, I poured it into quart jars and put them in my water bath for processing.  Spaghetti sauce takes a longer processing time than salsa because it is a lower acid food.  Where salsa takes around fifteen to twenty minutes to process, this sauce needed about forty minutes.  Fortunately, I had finally gotten a clue and bought a full size water bath canner so I could do all my quarts at once.  Since it was already eleven pm when I got them in the boiling water, this was a wonderful thing.

All in all I ended up with seven full quarts of spaghetti sauce and almost none left over.  What little was left over I happily ate with a spoon, so I know it turned out pretty good.  Next time I will probably think about adding a few other ingredients, like fresh olives and maybe mushrooms, or trying my hand at a meat sauce.  Nevertheless, what I ended up with this batch is perfectly fine with me.

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  1. Excellent job! I only make spaghetti sauce to can about every 2 years because it take a lot of work and yes, my husband always helps as well. It sure is worth it though, isn’t it?

    • Definitely worth it! It turned out pretty well and it was nice time spent with my husband. I can see why you only do it occasionally though. I think I need a bigger soup pot so I can make more in one batch. 🙂

      • Here’s my secret (learned it from my nana). I bought one of those electric roasters – the 18 quart size. I actually got one at a yard sale that was still in the box of $10! I use it for canning spaghetti sauce and preparing corn to freeze. Totally worth the investment!

  2. I love making my own roasted tomato sauce when my garden produces an abundance of tomatoes in summer. I know it’s healthy, and seasoned to our liking. I freeze mine, but perhaps someday you’ll inspire me to get over my fear of canning! Does the Italian seasoning have a load of sodium in it? We’re fairly conscious about too much sodium (we’re in our 50’s). I dry a lot of my own herbs, and love dabbling with blending spices and herbs for cooking. Loved this post!!

    • The seasoning we buy is just dried herbs with no sodium, which is why we love it. I was actually surprised by how easy canning is so I encourage you to try it. I haven’t tried pressure cooker canning yet though…

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