Summer is hot upon us, blessing our kitchens with ripening fruit. This is the most versatile, and delicious sauce in my pantry. I use it for meatloaf, manicotti, chili, and — of course — spaghetti.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I.
Half bushel of ripened tomatoes (I use several varieties to enhance the rich flavor of the sauce)
1 large garlic clove (or 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic)
1 cup olive oil
1/ 4 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 (8 ounce) cans of tomato paste (this makes the sauce very thick), for thinner sauce you can omit the paste.
2 large onions chopped fine
2 cups chopped green pepper
2 jalapeno peppers (for added flavor)
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons oregano
2 bay leaves
Fill the sink with cold water, which will be used to cool tomatoes after you have blanched them.
Heat a large pot of water and add tomatoes. Leave tomatoes in water until skins begin to split in the hot water.
While waiting for the tomatoes to blanch, slice peppers, onions and garlic. Pour olive oil into a saucepan, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Cook for 30 minutes or until peppers and onions are translucent and well cooked. Add spices and stir well.
Transfer the tomatoes from the hot water into the cold water in the sink. Remove the skins and chop tomatoes.
Add tomatoes to onion and pepper mixture. Stir well.
Add tomato paste and stir.
Cook sauce for half hour on low, stirring often.
Pour into jars and process in a water bath for 30 minutes, or, pour into plastic freezer bags.
Yields thirteen pints.
Renea Winchester is the award-winning author of three non-fiction works. Her latest title: Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna sandwiches is filled with farming stories and delicious recipes. Learn more about Renea here.