We liked all of these sauces, and we ate them all with no complaints, but this year we wanted to try a new one. We had a lot of herbs from the garden that needed to be used, and we wanted something more garlicky and a little spicy to go with meatballs, in lasagna, or just mixed with pasta. We made some of the Seasoned Tomato Sauce because we knew we liked it and made some Roasted Garlic and Herb Pasta Sauce to try. Turns out, this new sauce is very tasty with lots of fresh herbs and a mellow garlic flavor. Very good. It is also a little sweeter than the Garden Tomato Sauce from last year due to a small amount of brown sugar which I think would make this sauce very kid friendly (minus the pepper flakes if spiciness is not desired).
It begins with peeling the tomatoes. If you want to see the step-by-step peeling process, go my post from last year. While you are peeling the tomatoes, you will want to roast about three small heads (heads, not cloves) of garlic. Do this by removing any excess papery skin from each head of garlic and cutting the pointed end so that you expose the tops of each clove. Place the heads of garlic in a baking dish, drizzle each of them with a teaspoon or so of olive oil, and cover the dish with foil. Roast them in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes until the garlic is tender. Once they are cool enough to touch, you can squeeze the garlic out of each head, and you will have a garlicky paste that looks something like this.
Once your tomatoes are peeled, they need to be pureed to your liking. We like our sauce a bit smoother, but you could certainly leave it chunkier if you prefer.
You will also need to gather some fresh herbs. You will need about two cups of fresh basil and another cup of mixed herbs (I used parsley and oregano).
Between the two sauces we made, we ended up with 23 pints which should be enough to get us through the year without having to purchase store-bought sauce. Last year we only canned about 12 pints and ran out before spring, so we are very excited about the larger quantity this year.
Roasted Garlic and Herb Pasta Sauce- makes 6 pints
This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens Canning magazine. I added the roasted garlic based on another version from their website. The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon pepper flakes, but it was plenty spicy with half that amount (which is what I indicated in the recipe below). If you don't like heat, omit the pepper flakes altogether. If using the pepper flakes, I suggest adding half of what is in the recipe below and then adding more as you taste.
12 pounds tomatoes, peeled and pureed to your desired consistency
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup assorted herbs, chopped (I used 3/4 cup parsley and 1/4 cup oregano)
3 Tbsp roasted garlic (about 3 small heads roasted as indicated in post above)
6 Tbsp lemon juice
Prepare your canner, jars, and lids (see Canning Basics on how to do this).
Place your tomato puree in a large nonreactive pot. Add the brown sugar, salt, vinegar, and black pepper (do not add pepper flakes at this point). Bring to a boil and reduce heat, stirring frequently. Simmer, uncovered, 70-80 minutes until reduced to a desired sauce consistency. Remove from the heat. Add the pepper flakes (if using), herbs, and roasted garlic.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into each pint jar. Ladle hot sauce into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, adjust headspace, and wipe rims. Place sterilized lids and rings on each jar. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes. Remove to a towel to cool for 24 hours before checking seals, labeling, and storing.