Preserving Delicious Home Made Italian Sauce from ‘YOUR’ Garden Tomatoes

IMG_1473IMG_1403 Nothing like the aroma of a delicious homemade Italian sauce for spaghetti, lasagna etc., especially in the middle of winter when the produce is no longer available out your back door. We all know you can buy versions of Italian sauces off the store’s shelves, but when you can make the best as well as the freshest from your own tomatoes and herbs, why not put out the minimal effort to make it happen?

GetĀ  out your largest kettle/pan (with a broad bottom/base), generously oil it with olive oil and add 3-4 minced garlic cloves on low heat. While this is heating, cut your tomatoes into quarters (or smaller); cutting off any blemishes/soft spots. When you smell the aroma from the heated garlic, start putting your tomato slices into the pan. I typically up my temperature to medium high and lightly salt with a coarse sea salt and generous amount of Italian herbs (oregano, thyme) or bottled dried Italian herbs if you don’t have the fresh. Stir every so many minutes, especially with temp at medium high. Continue filling the pan (alternating with coarse salt and herbs as previously mentioned to each layer you add) to approx 1-1 1/2 inch from the top of the pan; leaving at medium high heat until you notice the mixture starting to slowly boil. At that point, turn down heat to medium low (lower if necessary) to just keep a slow rolling boil or to prevent the tomatoes sticking to the bottom of the pan (you’ll have to adjust your own stove accordingly). After about an hour, turn heat down to low and leaveĀ  simmering/slow boil all day or until contents have reduced down 2/3 from where you originally started from. The sauce at that point will be thickened and luscious–taste and add any other necessary spices (according to your taste buds).

Once cooled, pour/scoop sauce into quart sized Ziploc freezer bags (make sure and mark bag with contents/date/using permanent black felt pen.) Once all bags are completed/filled, wipe off any drips that might have occurred, then load onto a cookie sheet and take out to your freezer. Now, when you have the inkling for a luscious Italian dinner, you have the basis already prepared and can build from there. Enjoy!!!

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