EDIT: MORE DETAILED STEPS ADDED!
Last week I took our batch of tomatoes I picked from our garden and canned some diced tomatoes and then made the rest into a spaghetti sauce.
The canning process (although it seemed long) was successful. Both my cans sealed up nice and tight, but of course I didn’t want to claim it as a total success until we had a chance to eat what I had canned. Well last night we decided to make spaghetti, so we used the sauce I made. It was SO good! I was actually a little skeptical of it just because it was something new, but we were both very pleased. This will probably be our go-to recipe now for spaghetti sauce. We just browned 1.5 lbs of ground beef on the stovetop and dumped it into a stockpot. Then we added about half the jar of sauce, 1 6-oz. can of tomato paste and about 12 oz. water (because it started getting too thick) and stirred it all together.
The recipe for the sauce can be found on this amazing blog- My Crazy Life (as a Farmer’s Wife). Please take a look at it! First of all, I’m IN LOVE with this lady’s blog! It’s so bright and colorful, and her photographs are gorgeous. It’s light and airy. Not to mention I’m swooning over all her vintage country stuff. I don’t know how many acres of land they own, but her, her husband and their 4 kids live in this adorable house with a red barn, and they have tons of gardens where they grow all their own fresh fruit and veggies. I’m obsessed.
Sigh. Ok, back to the recipe. It’s her Tangy Spaghetti Sauce recipe, but since I’m not a huge fan of really spicey stuff, I took out a few things to make it not-so-tangy. The items in italics I left out of our sauce. So if you like it tangy, keep those items in there 😉 Oh, and since I only had about 4 cups of tomatoes once I got them chopped (it calls for 16 cups), I quartered all the ingredients as well. (and I filled 1 quart jar for canning…plus some that I just threw into the fridge).
First, I diced all the tomatoes I had. Ideally, you should probably remove the skins first, using the boiling then ice water bath method described here, but I honestly just forgot to until I was almost done chopping them all. So of course I searched online and found out it’s not entirely necessary to skin the tomatoes (it just helps cut back on possible bacteria, and keeps the chewy skins out if you’re picky about that!). But I did read that if you finely chop the tomatoes in a food processor, the skins are less noticeable later. So that’s what I did. I diced, then tossed them all into the processes for a few seconds, careful not to process too much and turn it into mush.
And I found out this method of cutting tomatoes was much easier (and less messy!!) than my last method. Cut all around the core in a “C” shape, trying to avoid the watery core and seeds. If I got seeds in the cut pieces, I just dug them out with the knife so you’re left with just the firm flesh.
This time I ended up with roughly 6 cups of diced tomatoes. They went into the food processor, along with onions and green peppers, and then all the ingredients went into a stockpot.
Tangy Spaghetti Sauce for Canning
-3 medium onions, chopped
-2 cups green bell peppers, chopped
-1 cup banana peppers, chopped
-2 pkg. fresh sliced mushrooms (neither Greg or I like mushrooms, so those got the boot)
-4 cloves minced garlic
-16 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
-3(12oz) cans tomato paste
-1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 tablespoon dried oregano
-4 teaspoons canning salt
-2 teaspoons dried basil
-1 teaspoon black pepper
-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
Mix all the ingredients in a large pot on the stove. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for about 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. If canning, fill clean, sterilized jars to ½” headspace at the top. Secure with lids. Process for 35 minutes for quart jars in a water bath.
Enjoy delicious homemade spaghetti 🙂