One of the best ways to preserve your extra tomatoes is to can them. Ripe tomatoes can be processed be in it puree, juice, wholes, halves, mashed, or in seasoned formed; pasta/spaghetti or marinara sauce. This past summer some of my busy time was spent in food storing and preservation. I have done a lot of canning and freezing –mostly from the abundant vegetables we have from our garden. Canning process can be time consuming but it is so worth it. I enjoy seeing my finished product, and love the fact that I am more than capable of preserving healthy food in a most efficient and cost-effective way.
My recipe below is not limited to what you can do to enhance the flavor of your pasta sauce. There are other ingredients you can add if you want to meet your desired flavor. You may adjust the amount of ingredients if you wished to do so.
PASTA SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
tomatoes, diced – 4 quarts (16 cups)
green beans, diced – 4 cups
celery, diced – 4 cups
yellow or zucchini squash – 3 to 4 cups
carrots, diced – 2 cups
onion, diced – 2 cups
garlic, chopped – 3/4 to 1 cup
parsley flakes (dried leaves) – 2 TBspoons (fresh, 3/4 – 1 cup)
basil, dried – 2 TBspoon (fresh 3/4 to 1 cup)
marjoram seasoning (spice mixture) – 1 and 1/2 TBspoons (optional)
coconut oil – 1/4 to 1/2 cup
sea salt – 1/4 cup or to taste (more or less)
Note: If some seasonings are not available, you may use what you have. Just experiment 🙂
STEPS in Making Pasta Sauce:
1. In a large cooking pot, saute garlic and onion in cooking oil for about one minute.
2. Add green beans and cook for about 3 minutes.
3. Put celery, zucchini/yellow squash and carrots. Cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Add diced tomatoes. Mix thoroughly. Bring to boil for 3 minutes.
5. Add remaining ingredients: spices and salt.
Your pasta is now ready to eat… Umm wait, ready for canning process! 🙂
MATERIALS NEEDED IN CANNING PASTA SAUCE
8 mason jars, washed and sterilized
8 pairs of lids and rings
water bath/boiling pot
STEPS IN CANNING HOMEMADE PASTA SAUCE:
1. Follow the steps in preparing the materials needed in canning: choosing jars, washing and sterilizing. Read more information here for general instructions on canning preparation.
2. In a canning pot put 3-4 quarts (16 cups) water and set it on mid-high heat temperature. While water is warming up…
3. Use a funnel, fill each canning jars with homemade pasta sauce leaving about an inch head space.
4. Wipe jar rims using a clean, damp, washcloth.
4. Place lids and rings, closing it tight enough but not too tight.
5. At this point water in the pot is hot, ready for canning process.
6. Place all the ready-to-process canned pasta sauce in the round canning rack. OR use a jar lifter if you put the jars individually in a pot of hot water.
Note: If your canning pot doesn’t have a canning rack, place a folded towel at the bottom of the pot to prevent jars from from breaking.
7. Make sure that water is about 1-2 inches above the canning jars.
8. Cover canning pot. Set the temperature to high heat and bring water to boil. Once the water reaches to boiling point reduce to medium heat for 60 to 85 minutes – for water bath canning for 1000 ft. Altitude above sea level, or 25 minutes for pressure canning process.
9. When canning process is finished, lift pot cover away from you to prevent hot steam away from you.
10. Using a jar lifter, remove each canned homemade pasta sauce. Place it on a drying rack or towel to cool off — away from sudden temperature change and draft.
11. You will hear popping sounds as the hot air inside the jars create a vacuum sealing the food inside. Once the jars are cooled, check for unsealed jars. Sealed jars have sucked down lids while unsealed jars are bulged. You may reprocess the content of the unsealed jars placing it in a new sterilized mason/canning jar, with new lid and ring. OR you may eat the content of unsealed jar right away. It should stay in the refrigerator for a few days up to a week.
Note: Should you plan to wait and refrigerate food in canning jars before canning them, let jars sit for a few hours in a room temperature before canning them. Sudden temperature change can cause jar breakage.
12. Remove rings. Put label on the lids: write name and date. Store canned food in cool and dry place.
Note: Jar rings are reusable unless they are deformed and loaded with rust. Loosen the rings OR wipe them dry if you must keep the rings on the jar to avoid rusting.
Your canned homemade pasta sauce is ready to eat whenever you want them. Storage life last for 2-3 years and beyond. Nutrient value and food appearance/color may deteriorate over time the longer it stays in the jar but it is still good to eat. As long as the jar is kept sealed the food inside is still guaranteed to be edible! 🙂 Enjoy canning!