This mid-summer season is a busy time for me. I spend a crazy amount of time canning and freezing all the summer goodness I can so we can eat healthy all winter. I can’t imagine how women did this 100 years ago, when a family’s life might depend on it. Then again, they weren’t juggling full time jobs, summer camp and sport schedules and trying to work out. Or surfing Pinterest 🙂
So last week, I found myself the happy owner of a 30 pound box of canning tomatoes. YES! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them–make this wonderful tomato sauce. Calling this “sauce” is a little inaccurate. This is so thick and fragrant and rich tasting, it should just be called “summer joy”. I could eat this with thick pieces of bread, over pasta, in chili, in soup or just plain ol’ by itself with a spoon. With only three ingredients, it is super healthy. No sugar, no preservatives, no salt. Just sunny, summer tomatoes, garlic, and a splash of olive oil. I keep this sauce simple so I can use it in any recipe later.
This “summer joy” is easy to make–just chop, roast, blend and freeze! Instead of canning, you just fill quart freezer containers and stash in your freezer for later. We went through 8 quarts last winter! I made four quarts from my box and at $10 per box of canning tomatoes, that is $2.50 per quart of homemade greatness (plus a teensy bit for the garlic and olive oil). I’ll make some more soon! If you love tomato sauce, but don’t want to bother with canning, try this!
Roasted Tomato Sauce (makes about 1 quart per 5 lbs of tomatoes)
Romas are best for this sauce as they have less water, but any tomato will do–you will need to adjust your roasting time for very juicy tomatoes!
- Any amount of tomatoes (I have been roasting 2-5 lbs. at a time)
- 2-4 garlic cloves, sliced thin or minced
- Olive oil
- Wash and trim tomatoes, and cut into halves (romas) or quarters (for larger tomatoes).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line one or more baking sheets with foil.
- Put tomato pieces on a foil lined baking sheet (I use 2 sheets at a time).
- Sprinkle garlic pieces over tomatoes.
- Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes.
- Put baking sheet in the oven and roast tomatoes for about 2 hours. Check on them periodically and stir them around a bit.
- Roast tomatoes until the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are a bit charred and shriveled.
- Put all tomatoes and garlic pieces in a bowl.
- Use an immersion stick blender and puree the tomatoes until they are to your liking. I like mine fairly chunky, but you can make this as smooth as you like.
- Store in freezer safe containers in the freezer for up to 6 months.