Archive for June 26th, 2011

Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  No Comments »

You might be wondering where this recipe went to. So did I. Evidently, my wonderful Web Master changed hosts and the old hosts were not happy when we left, so they sent my blogs and column into the clouds. Never fear, as promised, here’s the recipe and how to can.

Yesterday, we talked about the basics of canning and how to get your wonderful, homegrown tomatoes ready to make whatever sauce you little heart desires.

Today, I’m going to share with you the recipe I really like and how to can up whatever sauce you whip up. Let’s start with the recipe.

Fresh is best

Recipe Source: The Complete Book of Small-Batch Perserving
I found this recipe on

Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce

Yield: 8 cups
8 cups coarsely chopped, peeled tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup red wine (I used red Zinfandel)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar (5% strength)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon pickling salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 6 oz. can tomato paste

Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, wine, vinegar, basil, parsley, salt, sugar and tomato pasted in a very large non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until mixture reaches desired consistency, stirring frequently.

Ladle sauce into hot jars to within 1/2 inch rim space. Process 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts.

Note: I doubled the recipe because I had enough tomatoes to do that. When the sauce had cooked down, I decided to add a third jar of tomato paste to make it thicker. It’s your preference on that.

I cooked the sauce one day, slapped it in the fridge overnight and warmed it back up when I got ready to can the next morning. While I was boiling the water in my Ball’s Water Bath canner, I washed all the jars and lids in hot water. After they were dry, I put them back in more hot, fresh water to keep them warm. Everything needs to be as hot as possible before canning.

Hot jar and jar filler ready to go

Using a ladle, fill each jar up to a 1/2 inch from the top. Normally,  I fill it to the bottom lip.

I’d like to thank my lovely hand model, Ronnie Wilson, for the help

It’s hard to take pictures and show you action shots at the same time. I don’t have that many hands, though I have dated men that do…

Getting out the bubbles

After you fill the jar to within a 1/2 from the top, run the bubble tool around the edges to get the bubbles out. Then wipe off the top of the jar with a clean towel insuring a good seal.

Add lid and ring to jar

The ring should be “finger tight” which means you tighten it about half way with your fingers, not fully screwed on. This allows it to seal correctly during the canning process.

Then process all 7 jars in the Water Bath Canner for the time specified in the recipe. When you are done, use the handy jar holder to lift the hot jars out of the canner. They need to be placed on a towel on the counter and not moved for 12 hours, so make sure you have a spot that won’t get in the way of cooking dinner.

You will here a distinctive “pop” as the jar seals. After the jars are cool, push down on each lid. If it doesn’t pop back up, it’s sealed. If it pops, just stick it in the fridge and eat in a few days.

For a much more detailed explanation of safe canning, please refer to the Ball’s Blue Book of Canning. They explain it much better than I ever will.

Voila! The Finished Product

So how many pints of spaghetti sauce does 116 tomatoes make? Exactly 10. I wonder how many tomatoes gave their life for one jar of ketchup?

Tomorrow, which was actually last Friday and now will be next Monday or Tuesday, (I haven’t figured that out yet) will be all about organization or my column and the next day will be about organization. Unless you’re my Very Best Friend, you might need some help in the organization arena. I know I always do.

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time. Pray for DDM.

Mikie Baker