After enjoying many of those juicy tomato sandwiches and also tomatoes with homemade biscuits hot from the oven, I found that I still had a lot of tomatoes on hand.
My mother canned tomatoes so that we could enjoy them in soup in the winter but I don’t do much canning. I freeze them and have found that this process works great for me.
I use the same procedure that mother did up to a point. After cutting a small slit in the side of each tomato, I drop it into a pot of boiling water. Mother just dropped them into the water without the small slit and waited until they split on their own. Either will work. Don’t leave them in the water too long.
I always have a bowl of ice water next to the stove. When I take the tomatoes out of the hot water, I drop them immediately into the cold water. This stops the cooking process and the peel comes off so easily. Then I simply drop the tomatoes into zip-type freezer bags.
For the spaghetti sauce, after peeling the tomatoes, I crushed them with my hands. Some of the tomatoes I used were small, so it took about 14 to make the needed amount.
You will notice that I use kosher salt in the sauce. However, you can substitute table salt if you prefer, but you will need to reduce the amount of salt. I would suggest starting with a teaspoon and then adjust to your liking. Some cooks say that it is best to wait until the sauce has reduced before adding the salt, however, for this recipe, I found that the salt can be added before reduction.
I think that it will probably be hard for me to use the store-bought spaghetti sauce after tasting the homemade version. I won’t use the word “never” because there might be times when the good tasting tomatoes are not available and I will once again reach for that jar on the supermarket shelf. Perhaps I should just make some spaghetti sauce for the freezer also while I still have a few tomatoes on hand.
You will find this to be a versatile sauce that you can use for other recipes calling for a tomato-based sauce.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups crushed fresh tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon softened butter
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add onions and bell pepper. Saute until tender, but not browned. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, salt, black pepper, sugar and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until sauce has reduced and is beginning to thicken slightly. Combine the flour and butter. Mix well, using a spoon, until there is no flour visible. Stir this into the sauce. Continue to simmer until butter has melted and the sauce thickens to the desired consistency. This should make about a quart of sauce.