Everybody loves a nice fresh tomato to eat especially in a garden salad or on a hamburger but when they’ve started to go soft or the skins begin to wrinkle don’t toss them out … make tomato sauce! Over ripened tomatoes are actually needed and preferred over the fresh normally ripened ones when making tomato sauce. NOTE: I said over ripened and soft with wrinkled skins — and not spoiled. If they are molding (white, green, black, or brown colored fuzz or goop) and/or turning into a blackened science experiment and smell bad then throw them out!
If soft enough, you can just peel the skins off. If not, bring just enough water to cover them to a boil (before adding them) and once it comes to a boil drop them in (carefully) and let them boil for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool enough to handle but still a bit warm to touch and they will peel easily. You can even freeze the skins for use in soups, stews, or spaghetti sauce later on.
It’s optional and up to personal preference, but you can, if desired, use a spoon or water melon scoop to remove the seeds. I don’t bother myself. But do make sure that you remove the stems or any of the center inner white colored parts if they are really tough and woody. Sometimes they will soften with cooking and sometimes not — particularly with some of the newer tomato varieties on today’s market. I try to stick with Roma or heirloom tomatoes myself as much as possible.
Place peeled tomatoes into food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
Place puree into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer on low stirring every 20 to 30 minutes until reduced (most of the liquid evaporated and the sauce thickened).
Congratulations! You’ve just made tomato sauce!
You can season it now or just leave it plain until you know what you are going to be using it for. It depends upon what you plan to do with it that determines how best to season it or if things like vinegar or sugar will be needed. Basically, this is like the plain canned tomato sauce you’d buy at the store but without any artificial coloring, flavorings, salt, sugar, corn syrup, chemical additives or preservatives. When ready to use, you will control absolutely everything that will or will not go into it.
Stored in airtight (non-plastic, non-copper, non-aluminum) container (preferably a Mason or Kerr jar) and it will keep about a week refrigerated or you can freeze it for up to 8 months until you have use of it.
If there is a large enough quantity, you can even, while it is still hot, pour it into hot sterilized canning jars and follow proper canning technique. It will then keep at room temperature for 12 to 18 months!
Update: They no longer recommend canning tomatoes unless lemon juice is added and only fresh tomatoes are used! GMO tomatoes today have a different acidity and we now have “super bugs” so previous canning recipes and methods are no longer recommended.
- over ripened, soft tomatoes
- boiling water (enough to cover)
- glass storage containers or jars
If necessary, place tomatoes in boiling water and allow to boil 5 minutes then drain to make peeling skins easier. They will peel easier while still warm but do not try to peel while still hot.
Place peeled tomatoes in food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
Place puree in sauce pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced. Stir every 20 to 30 minutes.
Pour into hot sterilized canning jars and proceed with proper canning technique. Properly canned they will keep at room temperature for 12 to 18 months. Or pour into clean jars and store in refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to 8 months.