Bumper Crop Of Cherry Tomatoes
I don’t know about you, but my tomatoes have gone crazy this year! My cherry tomato plants have produced more than I have ever seen. And I mean, pounds of tomatoes! Last week we picked over 7lbs of ripe cherry tomatoes. On Saturday, we picked another bumper crop of cherry tomatoes of another 5 lbs, and they’re not showing any signs of stopping yet! And while my family loves tomatoes, I’m beginning to run out of recipes for fresh cherry tomatoes.
Normally, around this time of the summer, my eggplant, squash, and zucchini are all beginning to wane, and I set aside an evening for canning my spaghetti sauce. Because of the number of tomatoes it takes to make homemade tomato sauce, I typically buy canned tomato sauce from the grocery and use that as the base for my spaghetti sauce. But, with all of my cherry tomatoes, I started wondering if I could use those to make tomato sauce. The answer was yes and, if I do say so myself, it turned out great.
My Family Chunky Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
My family’s chunky spaghetti sauce is a recipe that I’ve worked out over the years. Personally, my family and I like our spaghetti sauce chunky, and I use a ton of fresh veggies. I’ve listed all of the ingredients for the recipe, but the great thing about this is you can use all, some, or none of them and create a great tomato sauce. If you like the sauce less chunky, you can mince the veggies or blend them and incorporate them into the sauce. If you don’t like mushrooms, omit them. If you like bell peppers in your sauce, add them in. You really can customize this sauce however you like.
I use this for spaghetti, meatballs, and chicken parmesan, and my brother has used this sauce for stuffed green peppers. And I promise you, cracking open a jar of this sauce in the middle of winter will remind you that summer is just around the corner.
To begin, you want to wash your tomatoes and remove the stems. Using a large mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and toss, ensuring that the tomatoes all have a light oil coating.
Using two cookies sheets lined with parchment paper, pour the tomatoes onto the pans in a single layer. Roast in your preheated 400-degree oven for 35-45 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to split and wilt.
While the tomatoes are roasting, wash and dice your veggies and begin to sauté them in the olive oil in batches. I like to do my onions and garlic first, then move on to the softer veggies since they take less time. Pour the veggies into a large mixing bowl as you finish. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Once the tomatoes are done, transfer them to a large pot. Using your immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the tomatoes to desired texture. I blend mine until completely smooth.
Once blended, strain the sauce into a large pot to remove the seeds. On low to medium-low heat, add in the tomato paste and stir. Once combined, add in your veggies and herbs.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes.
Set Up Your Canning Jars
*Tip – I wash my jars, lids, and bands in the dishwasher before starting the sauce. I use the sanitizing heat cycle, leaving them in the dishwasher until I’m ready to ladle the sauce into the jars*.
Once the jars I set up, ladle your sauce into the hot jars. Run your flat spatula (from the accessory kit) along the sides of the jar removing all of the air bubbles. Add additional sauce (if necessary), leaving 1-inch headspace. Place the lids and then hand tighten the bands.
Finally, place the jars in the pressure canner. Fill with the amount of water specified in the directions for your pressure cooker. Mine takes 1-2″ of water. Lock the lid. Using 10lb pressure, begin processing your sauce. For my canner, I begin timing once the weight starts steadily rocking. Process 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts.
Once the processing is completed, allow the pressure to release naturally. Once released, unlock and remove the jars, placing them on a wire rack to cool.
You will hear the lids popping, and they cool down and seal. Once cool, you can test the seal by pressing on the lid. If the lid doesn’t press down, it’s sealed correctly. If you can press down on the lid, it did not properly seal, and you’ll want to use or freeze this sauce within the next 3 days. Don’t worry if you get one or two that don’t seal. It happens!
Finally, label your jars with the product and the date, then store your sauce in a dry, dark, cool area of your house, like a pantry or basement, for up to 1 year.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Spaghetti Sauce
- Pressure Canner
- 7-8 lbs. Cherry Tomatoes Stems removed
- .5 Cup Olive Oil Good quality, plus 2 tbsp more for roasting
- 12 oz. Tomato Paste
- 1 Large Onion
- 4 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 2 Squash
- 2 Zucchini
- 2 Eggplant
- 2 pkg Mushrooms
- 1/3 Cup Spaghetti Sauce Spice Pick your favorite
- 1/4 Cup Dried Basil
- 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Tbsp Vinagar For canning
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems. Toss in a bowl with olive oil (just enough to coat the tomatoes) and salt. Spread the tomatoes out in an even lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet or large baking dish. Roast the tomatoes for 35 – 45 minutes until the tomatoes are just beginning to shrivel. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, dice your vegetables and begin sautéing them (one vegetable batch at a time). Once each batch is finished, add them together to a large mixing bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
- When the tomatoes are finished, add them (along with all of the juice) to a large pot or stock pot. Using an immersion blender, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Get a large pot or stock pot, and begin pouring the tomato sauce through the strainer, to remove the seeds, into the large pot. Once the tomato sauce is strained, add two 6 oz. cans of tomato paste and stir in. Once combined, add all of the veggies and the spices and stir to combine. Simmer on low to medium-low heat for 60 minutes.
- Pour spaghetti sauce into hot, sanitized canning jars. Run your flat spatula (from the accessory kit) along the sides of the jar removing all of the air bubbles. Add additional sauce (if necessary), leaving 1 inch headspace in each jar. Wipe the jars add the lids and hand tighten nthe bands.
- Following the set up directions for your pressure cooker, process the filled jars in the pressure canner with 10 lbs pressure for 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts (start the timer once the weights begin to rock steadily). Allow the pressure to come down naturally, then remove the jars from the canner and allow to cool. Label the jars with the product and date. Then store in a cool, dark, dry spot for up to one year.