The ritual of canning my own tomatoes each fall is a salute to Italian my mother-in-law, and the generations of women who came before her. I'm sharing with you today her recipe for canning tomato sauce. I consider this recipe to be my greatest treasure. Nonna passed away several years ago and it was the quick thinking of my sister-in-law to it write down her recipe and her knowledge, all inherited bits of information from her mother and grandmothers. Josephine was born in Caserta, in the Campania region of Italy. My sister-in-law and myself took our turn learning the ropes and I continue the tradition today.
Today, with so much talk of eating healthy and clean, there is no better time to consider turning back the clock to the days of our ancestors and take up the lost art of preserving and canning our own fruits and vegetables.
- Your tomatoes should come fresh from your local farmer if not from your own garden. Roma tomatoes or if you can get your hands on San Marzano tomatoes are ideal.
- Wash your tomatoes genereously, remove the stem and any dark or white spots.
- Hand cut the tomatoes and put them into a blender.
- Pour the blended tomatoes into the separating machine. This machine will separate the skin and seeds on one side and send the juice in a pot on the otherside.
- Once you have filled a large pot with juice you can begin boiling it on the stove. You can add some salt at this time. This juice will boil for a couple of hours until you are happy with the consistency.
Before you jar place 3-4 fresh basil leaves (from your garden) and fill the jars with the hot sauce. Leave at least 1 inch head room. Attach lids and secure tightly, turn upside down to sit and seal.
Saute up a little chopped garlic in olive oil, add a jar of sauce, let simmer for 20-30 minutes adding again some fresh or "frozen fresh" basil about 1/2 way through your cooking time along with kosher salt to taste.
This will make a lovely marinara sauce for your favourite pasta.