Canned tomato sauce

As I’ve mentioned before, although I’ve read/written about canning and taken classes it is still very new to me. So please, if you have tips or tricks you’d like to share, or if you see me doing something you disagree with, let me know – comment here, or email (

This is a recipe I scaled down from I used locally grown tomatoes purchased from Krug Farms.

First of all, I have real canning tools now, which is awesome (and much, much safer than winging it).



  • 5 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/6 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/6 cup tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
  • sugar
  • 1 1/3 tbsp red wine vinegar

First, bring water to a boil in a large pot. In the meantime, prepare a large bowl filled with ice water.

Remove cores from tomatoes and cut an “X” into the base; I also used this time to cut out any clear blemishes on the tomatoes (which are often inevitable with locally grown, fresh tomatoes).

In batches, place tomatoes in boiling water for 40 seconds, or until the skin starts to loosen; I had a dozen tomatoes so I did four at a time in three batches. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and plunge in ice water – leave them in there for 2 minutes.

When cooled, peel the skins off the tomatoes with your fingers – they should come off fairly easily.

Next, puree your tomatoes and pour into a large saucepan.

Peel your garlic and mince.

Chop up the basil, and add garlic, basil, and tomato paste to the pot; add a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and sugar. 

Bring to a boil and simmer sauce until thickened – the original recipe says hour to an hour and a half, but I probably only did about half an hour. Since this is not the canning process itself, reducing that time will not affect the safety of the food.

Using a funnel, pour sauce into two 1-quart mason jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.

Using a non-metallic spatula or tool, poke around inside the jar to remove air bubbles. Secure sterilized lids onto jars using a magnetic tool. Screw on the second part of the lid, only twisting until you barely feel a seal. 

Place jars in water bath canner, leaving 2 inches of water above the jars.

Process for 40 minutes. Remember to start the time when the water is at a rolling boil.

Please note, the processing time can vary depending on your altitude. Google an altitude map of your state and do a little research if you need to.

Remove jars with a jar gripper tool and place on a towel to cool. Store in a cool, dry space.

Something I forgot to mention in my last canning post: Do label and date your jars, including what the contents are. You don’t want to confuse tomato sauce with salsa or chutney months from now.

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