I love pasta!
I'm sure there isn't anyone out there that doesn't love a good pasta dish. It's fabulous comfort food. A good pasta deserves a good sauce. My ultimate favorite sauce is a red sauce. I usually make a family favorite recipe for a meat filled spaghetti sauce, but a traditional marinara is versatile and tastes wonderful.
You can take a basic marinara sauce and turn it into so many dishes. Use it with meatballs, as a spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, dipping sauce, and over chicken. The possibilities are endless. So having a nice homemade sauce on hand is heaven sent.
A trip to my local farmer's market brought me to a bumper crop of end of summer tomatoes. Beautiful Roma tomatoes! So I bought as many as MGG and I could carry, which was around 18 lbs. and off I went to make up a BIG batch of marinara sauce.
I chose to freeze my sauce in 2 cup jars (pints) which gives me a good portion size. You can chose to do a canning process if you prefer, but I have more freezer space than shelf space at this point. I can't wait to open a jar in the dead of winter and taste the fresh tomatoes...woohoo!
Kitchen Tip: Blanching Tomatoes
Bring a large saucepan ﬁ lled two-thirds full with water to a boil over high heat. Wash the
tomatoes and cut an X in the bottom of each tomato (opposite the stem side). Working in small
batches, immerse the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, until the skin starts to
curl. Using a skimmer, immediately remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and plunge
them into a large ice bath (half ice and half water). Remove them from the ice water and theskins should easily slip off.
Big Batch Marinara Sauce
makes 6-8 pints
15 lb. ripe Italian plum tomatoes, blanched and peeled
4 T fresh thyme, chopped
½ c fresh basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place the blanched tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is achieved. Place the tomatoes, and juice, in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add herbs and season with salt and pepper. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently, stirring ocassionally with a wooden spoon, 1 hour.
Meanwhile, wash 6 to 8 pint canning jars with their lids and rings in hot soapy water and rinse
Fill jars using a funnel to pour about 1 cup of the hot sauce into each jar, leaving about ½ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean. Place the lid on each jar, then screw on the rings. Allow jars to cool for several hours and then freeze. Marinara will keep 6 months.