It has been an amazing tomato harvest for us this year. I’m very happy. I am also learning how to preserve tomatoes now. Sauce, salsa and diced tomatoes are what I’m after. I haven’t canned before though, well aside from the salsa. I’d never made my own spaghetti sauce and so I took to the internet to figure it out. Two recipes really stood out to me. This one and This one. The first is a Sicilian style sauce with wine. As you may know, we love wine. I grabbed my favorite Merlot, as can be seen in This post, for it. The other was slow roasted in the oven. I had to try both. So I divided my tomatoes up and set to work. I mostly followed both recipes. I must admit, I have a hard time following recipes to the T. I have my own style.
First I went out and hunted down all the necessary herbs from the yard.
Sage and Thyme
Washing and shredding herbs
Washed and shredded herbs
Next, I chopped my onions and garlic, for both versions. The kids were eager to help, as usual. Son was very excited about helping “skin” the garlic. Daughter washed the tomatoes. For the record, while I love the kids helping I do rewash stuff. Their version of washing is just spraying water all over my kitchen. GAH!
I added bell pepper to the roasted tomato sauce. I happen to love roasted bell peppers so it was an obvious addition for me!
And now, the tomatoes! I did not skin any of them. I was going to blend them anyway and was cool with the skin remaining. I harvested the seeds from the best tomatoes while I was cutting them up for the sauce. I simply put them in the strainer, washed them off and then left them to dry in a labeled coffee filter.
I did enjoy a good glass of Merlot, while also adding some Merlot to the Sicilian sauce. If you are interested in our review of this Merlot see Here.
I cooked the Sicilian sauce down a bit and then crushed everything up a bit. Well, the kids did, enthusiastically.
While the sauces were cooking low and slow the kids and I made fish and chips for dinner. Turns out Son is all talk about his love for fish as he refused to eat any until I convinced him it was chicken. This in spite of him helping me with the fish…. I did tell him after he’d eaten that it was fish. He’s caught onto me and when he asked if the pork I offered him at a later meal was chicken I asked him if he’d prefer I lie. He stated yes and ate the pork. It’s all good.
As an aside, doesn’t my kitchen remodel look amazing so far!
The kids were in bed before the sauces were ready to be blended and jarred. That was fine with me. I didn’t want to have to explain 9 million times to Son that I would not allow him to put the jars in the hot water because he’d likely burn his arm off. Oh how many times I’ve had that conversation already. If you are wondering why I simply don’t let him learn the hard way, I have. He just likes to ask the same question over and over and over and over and…………………..
So I added some lemon juice and sugar, popped the sauces in the blender, jarred them and put them in the hot water until they were ready. A LONG process but a satisfying one. The sauce from both is amazing!