Monday, September 28, 2015

Tomato Basil Sauce with Roasted Garlic {Bottled}

Tomatoes are abundant here right now, and there is no better way to preserve the garden goodness all through the winter months than by making this sauce.
Toss it over noodles.
Spread it over pizza crust.
Add it to some tomato soup (or any recipe calling for tomato) for a touch of homemade flair.
It is thick and hearty and garlicy and delicious.
I often make this in a HUGE batch (I'll at least double the recipe if I have the tomatoes); I feel it makes my time more worth while.  You can easily half (or more) the recipe, but stick to measurements pretty closely here, as straying can alter the acid levels which is no bueno for canning.
If you aren't into the whole canning scene, this sauce also freezes beautifully.

Tomato Basil Sauce with Roasted Garlic
Recipe modified from Our Best Bites

24 lbs. ripe tomatoes
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 c. lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tsbp. thyme
1 Tsbp. parsley
1/3 c. pureed roasted garlic (about 4 heads)
2/3 c. lemon juice (for canning only)

Blanch tomatoes and remove all skins and stems.
Rough chop tomatoes and add to large stainless steel pot.
Add brown sugar, salt, vinegar and pepper and stir to incorporate.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a steady simmer, but still bubbling all over.
Continue simmering, uncovered, until mixture is reduced to desired consistency (at least 2 hours).
Stir occasionally while sauce is simmering.
If you like your sauce with some chunks, leave as is.  If you like it smooth, you can pulse with an immersion blender.
Once desired consistency is met, stir in basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and garlic.
Adjust seasoning to taste.

If canning:
Add 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice into each hot, sterilized pint jar (12), or 2 Tbsp. for quart jars (6).
Ladle sauce into jars, accounting for headspace.
Remove air bubbles by running a knife along the outside of the jar, 4-5 times around.
Wipe rims and top with hot lids.
Screw on bands.
Process in a hot water bath canner for 35 minutes, adjusting for altitude if necessary (45 minutes Utah time).
Makes 12 pints or 6 quarts.

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