Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pasta Sauce - frozen and canned

I made two batches of crock-pot pasta sauce.  Apparently "crock-pot" is a specific brand of slow cooker, but I use the term to just mean I used  slow cooker!  Mine is a Hamilton Beach.

Anyway, I used this recipe, adapted from one I found online. It is by no means a hard and fast, written in stone, type of recipe!  Add or subtract ingredients as you choose.  My family does not like the texture of onions, so I use onion powder.  Peel the tomatoes if you wish, or don't.  I tweaked the second batch a bit to make it thicker.  Boy, does this stuff smell delicious as it cooks! 

Crock-Pot Pasta Sauce

ripe tomatoes (the recipe said 20-25, but I just filled the pot with them, cutting the large one into quarters, popping the cherries in whole!)

Aren't they pretty?  Most of these are Medford tomatoes. Yes, named for my town!

 Put tomatoes in pot and top with...

1 TBS onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder (you can add more later to taste)
herbs - I used
     sage - 4 leaves
     oregano - two small stems
     rosemary - one stem, about 5"
     thyme - two small stems of lemon and nutmeg thyme
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
2 TBS olive oil 

Cover and cook on high 4 hours.  Stir.  Recover and cook 2-4 hours more.  As the tomatoes cook down they release a lot of liquid.  When I made the second batch I drained 4 cups of this liquid off half way through cooking.

When done you can strain it to remove the skins (and herb stems!), blend it, or keep it as is. My first batch was thin (undrained) and I pressed the tomatoes through a sieve.  I blended the second batch with thicker and smoother results.  I will blend any future batches.

second batch pasta sauce - reheated to can
Freeze or can using hot water canning method.  I froze my first batch, and canned the second.  One full crock-pot's worth of tomatoes cooks down to make three pints of sauce.  It's still not as thick as the store bought, but it sure tastes good! 

I really ought to get some cute labels! 


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