This recipe makes a high-quality, standard tomato sauce in the Italian style with the Italian holy trinity of carrot, onion and celery (the “soffrito”), with just a small bit of spicy zip.
Consequently, it’s very flexible in how you use it.
The recipe makes only three jars, so you may want to double or triple the batch. If so, just do your math on paper first before you start.
See all pasta-sauce recipes for canning.
This recipe is from the Ball / Bernardin Complete Book.
Jar size choices: Half-litre (US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 3 x half-litre (US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: 35 minutes for half-litres (pints)
Italian-Style Tomato Sauce
3 x half-litre jars (US pint / 16 oz)
- 2 kg plum tomatoes (4.5 lbs) OR 1.5 litres passata
- 125 g onion (finely chopped. ⅔ cup / 4 oz . Measured after prep. 1 medium)
- 100 g celery (finely chopped. ⅔ cup / 3 oz. Measured after prep)
- 75 g carrot (finely chopped. ½ cup / 2 to 3 oz. Measured after prep. Half a large carrot)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced. 2 cloves)
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice (bottled. 50 ml / 2 oz)
- 2 teaspoons pickling salt OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chile flakes
If starting from tomatoes, make 2 litres (8 cups / 64 oz) of tomato purée. See recipe notes for directions. Set aside.
Wash and peel the onion, finely chop ,add to pot.
Wash the celery, finely chop, add to pot.
Wash and peel the carrot, wash again, finely chop, add to pot.
Peel and mince the garlic, add to pot.
If starting from tomatoes, add about 1 cup (250 ml / 8 oz) to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender -- about 15 minutes.
If starting from passata: Add ½ of the passata (1 bottle / 700 ml) to the veg in the pot. Bring to a low boil, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrot is no longer very crunchy.
If starting from tomatoes, raise the heat a bit, and add the rest of the purée a cup at a time.
If starting from passata, raise the heat a bit and add the rest of the passata.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Increase heat to high, bring to a rolling boil, and let boil uncovered, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
If starting from tomatoes, let boil uncovered until volume is reduced by one-third. This should take about 15 to 30 minutes.
If starting from passata, let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Ladle hot sauce into heated jars.
Leave 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
Debubble, adjust headspace.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process in a water bath or steam canner.
Process jars 35 minutes for half-litres (pints.) Increase time as needed for your altitude.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
- Making fresh puréed tomato: You’ll need 2 kg (4 ½ lbs of tomato. Wash them, and pass them through a food mill or strainer to remove the seeds, core, and peel. If you don’t have a food strainer or food mill, see here: Making tomato purée without a strainer or food mill.
- For the passata, 2 x 700 ish ml (24 oz) bottles will do.
- If using passata, stand emptied bottles upside down with caps on to drain well, then empty the bottles again into the pot. You’ll get an extra few tablespoons out of each bottle.
- You can use a food processor to chop the onion, celery, and carrot, even do them all at once if you weighed them out first after washing and peeling.
- Do not increase the onion, celery or carrot or it could throw the safe acidity balance off.
- Do not omit the lemon juice, it is what provides the safety (that and the processing of the jars.)
- For the garlic, you can use instead 1 teaspoon minced garlic from a bottle provided it is oil free. You don’t want to add oil to a home canning recipe unless it calls for it, as it could cause density issues during heat processing.
- The recipe doesn’t allow for litre (quart) jars.
- Italian-style tomato sauce. In: Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 365.
- Added suggestions for starting with tomato passata;
- Increased initial first simmer time by 10 minutes to make sure carrot is tender (book says just 5 minutes.)
Per 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 97 calories, 844 mg sodium
Per 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 97 calories, 68 mg sodium
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com