This year, I decided to learn how to can right (I'm actually a little amazed we survived the year with all the things I did wrong last year and, no, I don't want to talk about it). I received the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for Christmas and it is a-maz-ing! Among the many, many, many treasures I've already discovered is a super, simple, basic tomato sauce that only contains one ingredient if you eat it fresh (tomatoes) and two if you can it (tomatoes and lemon juice). Perfect! Whenever I use tomato sauce, I end up seasoning it anyway, so I don't really need it to be seasoned in the jar and would rather it be untainted until I'm ready to mold it into the favor I desire.
So I did what I do with all recipes I use: I changed it. Yeah, I know I called it perfect before, but I decided it could be perfecter (yes, I know that is not grammatically correct. Sometimes I like to throw in made up words for a touch of whimsy. I do it when speaking as well because I find it amusing. I try to write exactly like I talk as much as possible so people recognize me when they meet me in real life. Well, I guess I do swear more in real life...). Here is my new and improved super easy basic tomato sauce:
Super Easy Basic Tomato Sauce
lemon juice (if canning)
Core and cut off the blossom ends of the tomatoes. Quarter and stick into a large pot (how large will depend on how many tomatoes you are doin' up). Simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in a food processor or blender. Return to pan and simmer until it reaches about half of its original volume. Remove from heat and strain briefly (don't force it. Just dump the stuff in a strainer and let it piddle out for a minute or so). Return thicken sauce to pan and combine with about half of the juice that was just strained out. Freeze the remaining juice in an ice cube tray (bag up in freezer bags once frozen) for use in flavoring sauces and stews. Let sauce simmer until ready to can or package immediately for freezing.
If canning, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice per pint of sauce. Process in a water bath canner, pints for 35 minutes, quart for 40.
If you don't know how to can, take a class, learn from someone that's been doing it for umpteen trillion years without killing off anyone from food poisoning, or get the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Seriously.