So one of the things that I’ve been growing in the garden is tomatoes. Last year we mostly grew big beefsteak ones, but the majority of what we did with them was can them and make spaghetti sauce. This year we switched it up some and have more sauce varieties. Well, they have started to come in and that means there is but one thing to do, make sauce!
Now, one of the first things that you’ll want to do is determine how smooth you want your sauce to be and know the tomatoes that you are using. If you want a really smooth sauce with no seeds and you have some bigger watery tomatoes you might have to take a few more steps. I was aiming for a more chunky and rustic style of sauce here.
You’ll want to start off by gathering your ingredients. My goal for this sauce was to stick to only things that I had grown myself. As you can see I had a little heap of tomatoes, some were picked fresh this year and others were canned from last year. In addition to these, I’ve been adding in some kind of squash in my sauce, if you let it simmer a bit you won’t even know that it is there and it adds a touch more veg into the mix. I also have some garlic that has harvested and dried. Then I collected up some basil leaves as well.
Much like apple sauce there are a number of ways to go from whole tomatoes to sauce, but here is my path. First I re-washed all the ingredients. I cut and top of the tomato off that still had any leaves. Then it went into the food processor. The goal is small chunks, not really a fine puree, but if you want it smoother process until you are happy.
Next up I just dumped the bits of tomato into a pot and started heating. Due to the amount of tomatoes, there were a number of groups that went through the processor and then got dumped in. You’ll want to remember to stir now and then to make sure you heat the mix all the way through.
I also pulled out the box grated and shredded up my squash. Today I had a zucchini, but just about any squash should do well for this. This got tossed in and let simmer. Next came the hard part. Just let the mixture simmer. You’ll keep stirring now and then and slowly the bits and pieces will start to form a sauce. The beauty of making a rustic sauce is that you can stop whenever you are happy.
Now there is nothing wrong with not adding any more in, but I had grown some other goodies, so why not toss in some more? I grabbed a few cloves of the garlic that I grew and peeled them. They got smashed (no need for dicing…it’s rustic!) and then pitched in. I also had a bunch of basil leaves. I waited till I thought the sauce was about ready and tossed those in. But next time I think that I might toss some in earlier and some in later.
Now, this is great to make the day you plan to eat it, but it can take a few hours. You can always make it before hand if you like. I have a batch that I loaded in some jars and stuck in the freezer for later. Another way to handle it is to just can whatever you make. If you are going that route it might not be a bad idea to add some lemon juice to up the acid level, to be on the safe side.
One of the great things about spaghetti sauce is that you can add a whole range of things from your garden in. Do you have a few extra peppers? Chunk them up and toss them in. Growing a few mushrooms? Why not add those? Did you know you could even rice up some cauliflower and toss it in? They will disappear into the sauce and no one has to know they have been added.