In keeping up with tomato week, today’s post is about our spaghetti sauce recipe! A few years back, my mom and I began processing tomatoes. It began with freezing plain tomato sauce, then eventually my mom tried freezing some pizza sauce, and then we started to can spaghetti sauce.
Some people prefer to can tomatoes and season them when they use them. We prefer to have everything seasoned and ready to go when we pour it out of the jar. Just a personal preference.
In past years, we added the herbs and seasonings right before we jarred the sauce. This year, we added the spices before the sauce was completely reduced. That was a good decision! It allowed time for the seasonings to work their way through the sauce and give it a rich, full flavor!
We also did some jars with olive oil and some without. The main differences I noticed were that the sauce with the oil was thinner and smoother than the sauce without. We also attempted to add fresh herbs. I do not think I chopped enough, so we ended up adding some dry herbs anyway. Fresh herbs are very aromatic and would be great if I knew what amount of fresh herbs is equal to the amount of dried herbs. Maybe in another year or two, as we keep progressing with our canning!
We always add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar to each quart jar. While tomatoes are acidic, we feel more comfortable adding to the acidity, after adding the spices, since we use the water bath canner for our tomato sauces. We usually use red wine vinegar, but we ran out part of the way through the day, so we substituted malt vinegar. Apple cider vinegar would probably work, as would balsamic vinegar. But red wine vinegar gets my highest recommendation!
As we were adding the vinegar, we had two jars break as soon as the vinegar hit the bottom. Because of this, I recommend filling the jars with the sauce first, and then adding the vinegar at the top.
We cook our sauce down so that it is pretty thick. That is how we like to eat it. It takes much more time and much more risk of the tomatoes burning to the bottom of the pot. You can simmer the sauce for as long as you’d like, really. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can make a thinner sauce. Or, if you do not have all the time in the world, but would like a thicker sauce, you can add a can or two of tomato paste to help thicken it up.
We processed A LOT of spaghetti sauce this year! In past years, we have done maybe 25 pints. But this year, we got 30 quarts! We were blessed with great tomato producing plants this year!
So, check out this recipe! Even if you have your own way of canning spaghetti sauce, I encourage you to take a look. You may get some new ideas!
(per 6 quarts of sauce)
½ cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp dried oregano
1 ½ Tbsp dried basil
1 ½ Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp minced onion
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup raw sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar in each quart jar
Process quarts in water bath canner for 20 minutes. (This processing time has not been verified by any food processing and preserving authority. So canning this recipe is an “at your own risk” choice.)