My canning adventures continue. My most recent venture into the word of canning? Spaghetti sauce. We eat a lot of spaghetti sauce, so when my mother gave me a bunch of tomatoes, I immediately knew what to make.
Canning tomatoes is much easier than canning beans, because you can can (not the dance) tomatoes without a pressure canner. (For a breakdown on canning beans using a canner, click here.)
Here’s what you’ll need to can spaghetti sauce:
- Ice Water
- Crock Pot
- Pairing Knife
- Jar Lids
- Jar Rings
- Slow Cooker
- Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients (see below)
The first thing you need to do when canning spaghetti sauce is sanitize your jars, rings and lids. You can do this by running the jars and rings through the dishwasher. I usually wash the lids, or flats, with soapy water.
Another benefit to washing your jars in the dishwasher is that they come out nice and hot. This is important since you won’t be using a pressure canner to seal your jars. My dishwasher runs on a two-hour cycle, so I timed making my spaghetti sauce to two hours.
If your jars are already sanitized and you won’t be using a dishwasher, you can heat them by pouring boiling water in each jar a few minutes before you pour your spaghetti sauce in. You can transfer the boiling water from jar to jar as you add spaghetti sauce. Just be sure and use a funnel, because pouring boiling water on your hands is no fun. Trust me.
Now that your jars are in the process of being sanitized, it’s time to prepare your spaghetti sauce.
The first thing you’ll want to do is peel and core your tomatoes. This can be done very simply by blanching your tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes, and then dropping them into ice water.
Use your pairing knife to core each tomato.
The skins will come loose in the boiling water, making them super easy to peel by hand. If they’re too hot to touch, drop them back in the water for a few seconds.
Once all of your tomatoes are peeled and cored, drop them into your slow cooker. I dropped mine in whole, but next time I’ll chop them up.
To your tomatoes, add your spaghetti sauce ingredients. You can follow any recipe you want. Through trial and error, I’ve come up with a simple sauce that is versatile enough to be used for spaghetti, pizza, chicken parmesan, etc.
To make my spaghetti sauce, you’ll need:
- 9 or 10 Tomatoes, peeled and cored
- 2 Cans Tomato Sauce
- 1 Can Tomato Paste
- 3 or 4 Fresh Garlic Cloves, Minced *
- 2 Tablespoons Basil (I like to use Gourmet Garden basil in a tube.) *
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Italian Seasoning *
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper *
- Dash of Salt
* Use more or less of this ingredient per taste.
All you do is combine all of the above ingredients (be sure to mash your tomatoes really well) and let it cook on high while your jars finish in the dishwasher. I like to stir/mash every 30 minutes or so just to make sure all of the ingredients are combined well.
Once your jars are sanitized, remove them from your dishwasher in pairs, closing the dishwasher after a pair has been removed. This will hold the heat in the dishwasher and keep your jars hot.
Work quickly to funnel your sauce into the jars. Fill the jars nearly to the top leaving very little headspace and then put your ring and lid on the jar. Then, and this is important, turn your jar over so that it is standing on the lid. The pressure of the hot liquid on the lid will help seal the jar. Continue until all of your jars are filled and upside down.
This should yield about six or seven jars of spaghetti sauce since tomatoes break down quite a bit while cooking.
Leave your jars upside down over night. The next morning, check to see if all of your jars are sealed by pressing the lid. If the lid doesn’t move or pop, your jars are sealed. If it moves, the jar is not sealed and you’ll need to put it in the fridge to use that week.
Have you been canning anything lately?