Sunday, August 23, 2020

Canning Marinara Sauce - a quick pasta sauce

 My 2020 garden is tomato bountiful!  Time to add variety to my tomato preservation agenda.  Today it is marinara sauce and tomorrow it will be passata.  Followed by corn relish with tomato, roasted tomatoes with eggplant.  By next weekend, I will have green tomato chow chow and probably back to roasted tomatoes... It will be a tasty winter!

I am always careful to follow today's canning rules for tomatoes- sauces need extra acid in the form of lemon juice to boost the acidity in the jar.  Everything is steam canned for 40 minutes or whatever time is listed in a tested recipe.  I know granny did it differently back in her day, but times have changed and so has the equipment, thankfully.  I have my workhorse Kitchenaid vegetable strainer attachment and a steam canner to make things easier and faster.

This marinara recipe is based on the one in Food in Jars by Marissa McLellan.  I trust her recipes as she is always mindful of safe canning guidelines.

MAKES 4 500ml jars


1 tsp            olive oil 

½ cup/80 g yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves      garlic, finely chopped 

1 tsp           salt 

9 lbs/4 kg   paste tomatoes 

2 tbsp         fresh basil, finely chopped (or 2 tsp dried)

2 tbsp         fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 2 tsp dried)

6 tbsp         bottled lemon juice, divided 


Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5-6 minutes. 

While the onions and garlic cook, core and chop the tomatoes. When the onions are translucent, add the chopped tomatoes with any juices. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down. 

Position a sieve or food mill over a large bowl and press the hot tomato mixture through it in batches. Discard the seeds and skins in the sieve and return the sauce to the pot. Stir in the basil and parsley. 

Simmer the sauce until it is reduced by one-third to one-half, about one hour, depending on how juicy the tomatoes were. Add 1½ tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to each prepared jar. Pour the hot tomato sauce into the jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes

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