Well, we came home to a garden bursting with ripe tomatoes. My mother-in-law had already canned numerous pints of tomatoes and salsa while we were gone, and our plants were still yielding a large amount of fruit. Yesterday was Pizza Sauce Day (16 servings all canned up) and today is Marinara Day. Actually, I have a few more Marinara Days in my future, but that's okay. It's not real hard to make and although it's time consuming, most of if is just letting the pot simmer so the sauce reduces down and thickens. Then I divide the sauce up into 24-oz containers to put them into the freezer once they've chilled in the refrigerator. Three containers down and many more to go from the looks of the tomato plants. They're not giving up any time soon.
For those of you who want to do this recipe but don't have a stockpile of tomatoes growing in your backyard, check out a local farmer's market or fruit market for baskets of tomatoes. Locally, we have an Amish fruit market that sells large baskets of "canning" tomatoes for very little money.
Marinara Sauce -- Bulk Recipe for Freezing
10 lbs tomatoes
2 large onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz tomato paste
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon salt
Pepper to taste
1. Prep the vegetables: Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove the thick stem part inside and seed. Place tomatoes in a food processor and pulse 5-8 times to desired consistency. Place processed tomatoes in a large bowl and repeat until all of the tomatoes have been put through the food processor. Cut the onion into quarters and pulse in the food processor to desired consistency.
2. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and continue to cook until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low, continuing to simmer lightly.
3. Cook 2 1/2 to 4 hours until sauce has reached desired thickness and consistency. At this time, add any additional salt, pepper or sugar to taste.
4. Allow sauce to cool for 20 minutes, then divide into containers. Let sauce cool another 30 minutes then place in the refrigerator. Once chilled, freeze sauce.