I like being efficient, as my dad always called it smart, laziness. There is really no good way to peel tomatoes — yes, you can do that hot water bath thing — but it is messy and time consuming. I am here to tell you what the professionals on Food Network say all the time — BUY A FOOD MILL. It has made my harvests so much easier. It is the best method I’ve tried and I was lucky and only paid 5 bucks for mine at a garage sale.
Because I’m basically lazy (or efficient if you prefer) I rarely do all my at the same time. Instead of spending all day in the kitchen, I bring in whatever is ripe, save them up until I get 15 or 20 nice tomatoes and then I make sauce. Sometimes plain, sometimes Marinara, and sometimes a hot chili sauce to use in my chili this winter. I wash and quarter them and cook them skins and all. At this point just cook them until they are tender, the skins have come off by themselves in about 15 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat to cool. When sauce is cool enough I use my food mill and snip, snap, all of the skins and 99% of the seeds are in the top of the food mill and a beautiful sauce is filtered through the mill.
At this point you can either freeze the sauce plain or reheat and use your favorite canning recipe. Sometimes when I don’t have time, I throw the batch in the fridge and the next day fancy it up with herbs, a little white wine, garlic or whatever inspires me that day. If adding herbs or other goodies simmer the sauce for about an hour to deepen the flavors before storing either frozen or canned.
To can safely use a canning safe recipe after you have created your plain sauce — The Ball Canning site will have methods, recommendations and more recipes.
So keep it simple…and enjoy!
- 8 pounds of ripe tomatoes, washed and quartered
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Basil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- ½ tsp crushed red peppers - optional
- ¼ good olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- Directions for Roasted Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In shallow pans spread tomatoes (I use parchment paper in the bottom, but you can use aluminium foil or just spray the pan). Sprinkle the onions, garlic. herbs, salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently.
- Bake 2 to 3 hours -- This is very flexible and depends how you much browning you like on your tomatoes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly so you can handle them and run them through a food mill into a large sauce pan. Add the cup of white wine and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Directions for Stovetop Sauce
- Saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle and run through a food mill. Return to large sauce pan, add white wine and simmer 1 hour.