Skip the stockpot and pull out your roasting pan for richly concentrated, flavorful tomato sauce.
With the end of summer, farmers markets are overflowing with beautiful tomatoes. Romas, beefsteak, and heirloom varieties. Take advantage of the season and make roast tomato marinara sauce. Enjoy it tonight, freeze it or pressure can it for winter months to come.
Take Advantage of Low Prices
While prices are low and quality high, I brought home twenty pounds (9 kilos) of fresh tomatoes from the farmers market to make roast tomato marinara. I usually freeze it, but this year I’m going to preserve it in my pressure canner. And any extra I am willing to part with will make terrific gifts that my friends will appreciate.
Roast the Tomatoes for Rich Flavor
Roasting concentrates the natural, sweet flavors of the tomatoes and brings out the sweetness in the garlic. Use a large roasting pan, like you use for roasting a turkey.
If you have double ovens or one really large oven, you can do two pans at once, if you have two roasting pans. If not, borrow a second from a friend or do the sauce in two batches.
Chunky or Smooth
Another tool option, try a stick blender (immersion blender). They are a handy tool that takes up a lot less kitchen space than a food processor or high powered blender for smaller kitchens. Be sure to puree in a tall pot in the kitchen sink to reduce splatter.
All weekend long the house has smelled wonderful with this sauce roasts in the oven. I’ll place the finished jars in my pantry or freezer, knowing a quick and healthy dinner is at hand whenever needed.
Pressure Canning Notes
For pressure canning, I use a Fagor 10 quart (10 liter) pressure cooker/canner. This pot has three uses: as a regular large stock pot, as a pressure canner and as a pressure cooker. You can buy it on Amazon with the link above.
Process the sauce in pint/half liter jars for 20 minutes or according to the manufacturers instructions. Along with the pressure cooker, you will need the canning kit.
Low-acid foods, such as tomato sauce, must be processed using a pressure canner, not a water bath. Only a pressure canner can reach the 240 degrees necessary to safely process low-acid foods (a ph value greater than 4.6)
Sterilize Your Jars
Read here for instructions to oven sterilize jars. Place jars on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes at (225 F/107C) for 10 minutes. You may also be able to do them in your dish washer depending on the cycles it offers.
A note on canning jars – There are many options available. You can find Ball jars at most grocery stores. Right now I am using the Bormioli Italian canning jars. There are several sizes to choose from and make nice gifts if you plan to share your sauce.