Make & Can Your Own Pizza Sauce
By Candi Johns
If you are like me, you have a couple of bushels of tomatoes in the garage waiting to become something. This sauce is a perfect way to use them up. The best part — no blanching, no peeling.
I don’t want my pizza sauce to be spaghetti sauce. It is not chunky, lumpy, or full of green peppers and odd stuff.
Pizza sauce is simple, smooth, spreadable, and not complicated. This pizza sauce is simple, and you’re sure to love it.
• onions & garlic
• olive oil
• fresh basil
• lemon juice (for cans)
It doesn’t take a lot of fancy ingredients to make fabulous pizza sauce. I grow pretty much everything I eat, so this sauce is no exception. Almost everything in these jars came from my garden. Which brings me endless joy.
I have made two batches of sauce this summer, and we are quickly inhaling the first batch. If I don’t want to run out by next summer’s harvest, I’m gonna need to keep making this.
Perfect, Simple, Homemade Pizza Sauce
First, let’s prep the tomatoes.
The great thing about pizza sauce is that peeling your tomatoes is completely optional. I peeled my first batch. I left the peels on the tomatoes when I made my second batch. Guess what? I can’t tell a difference. If anything, the batch with the peels is more appealing because it’s more of a red color than orange. The taste is the same.
The reason peels don’t matter in pizza sauce is because everything is going to get blasted with an immersion wand. I emulsify this into nothing but a thick, red-orange sauce. You will never know there was a peel in the pot.
Begin by washing and removing the cores from the tomatoes.
Next, quarter your tomatoes & squeeze out most of the seeds and juice.
You really don’t want to skip this step. If you make your pizza sauce with all that juice, then you will have some seriously watery sauce … or you will have to cook your sauce for 6 hours to get rid of all the juice .. or you will have to add a can (or 10) of tomato paste to get it to be sauce.
You could use a food mill. If you are like me and do not have a food mill, you can just shove all the seeds out with your thumbs and toss the tomato meat/flesh into your giant sauce pot. No need to get EVERY seed out, but try to get most of them (they will make your sauce bitter). We’re going to puree this with the wand, so the seeds will be turned to paste like everything else.
Go here to see how I can the juice.
Now, we have a giant pot of clean, quartered, de-juiced tomatoes.
Wash your hands and dive in. Squish all the ‘maters into mush. When all the big hunks are squashed into goop, move the sauce pot to the stove top and turn the heat to medium.
Go grab a cutting board — we need to chop the garlic and onions.
Chop your garlic and onions and saute them in a hot skillet with the olive oil. Once the onions are clear, dump it all into the pot of tomatoes.
Add the three tablespoons of salt and bring it back to a simmer.
This is the time to get out your immersion wand and go to work. Blend the contents until you have … sauce. There will no longer be hunks of tomato, bits of onion, or pieces of garlic. It will be a wonderful, full-flavored sauce.
Now we add the basil!
We blended everything before adding the basil on purpose.
You do not want to blend the basil with an immersion wand, or anything else for that matter, or you will have green pizza sauce. It would taste the same but look like it died last year. To avoid green sauce, add the basil AFTER you blend everything else up.
Wash fresh basil, remove stems, and chop into bits. Shove as many of the basil bits as you can possible get into a 1/2 measuring cup. You want lots of basil — it’s wonderful. Toss the chopped basil into the sauce and continue to simmer.
The sauce will have a red-orange color with pieces of fresh basil floating around and making everything fabulous. Taste your sauce; add more salt if needed. Cook until desired thickness (if you removed most of the juice, it won’t take long).
Add one tablespoon bottled lemon juice to each pint jar. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims clean and adjust two-piece lids. Process in boiling water bath for 35 minutes. Begin timing after water boils.
For a step-by-step guide on hot water bath canning go here.
Now we just need to make some pizza crust, and we’ll have dinner!
Homemade pizza for dinner (or lunch) is always a hit.
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