After getting little from our garden all summer, I’ve been suddenly confronted with pounds and pounds of tomatoes. I made pasta sauce first, and then decided to make a big batch of pizza sauce to preserve.
I generally use a pizza sauce recipe from Martha Rose Schulman and multiply it out depending on how many pounds of tomatoes I have on hand. I handle the ingredients much differently than she does though, because her way takes too long when working in big batches.
In a nutshell, her recipe calls for peeling and seeding the tomatoes before you make the sauce. That’s not a bad job with 3 pounds of tomatoes. It can take hours when you’re working with more than 20.
I now wash and core the tomatoes, cut them in half and put them in a big pot. I cook them until they are soft and then run them through a food mill with a fine grate to get rid of the seeds and skins.
Then I pour the sauce back into a pan, add the garlic, some onion and herbs and boil it until it is reduced by at least a third. Then, to make the sauce smoother, I purée it with an immersion blender before canning.
Here’s Martha’s basic recipe:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
3 pounds tomatoes
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil
She sautés the garlic in olive oil before adding the other ingredients.
I made the recipe with about 21 pounds of tomatoes. To do that, I increased the dried oregano to 4 tablespoons, added 3 roughly chopped onions and 9 cloves of elephant garlic, and boosted the basil to 11/2 cups chopped, or about 1.6 ounces.
Once the sauce had boiled down, I puréed it and canned it. For those who can, I added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar, filled the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space, and processed them in a rolling water bath for 35 minutes.