Step 5: Cooking the Sauce
Between roasting and milling more tomatoes, I prepped the rest of the sauce ingredients. We like a zesty sauce so I added a cut up cayenne pepper to the usual garlic, basil, and oregano. I put a cup of pulp in the blender and pureed the herbs and pepper with it. I put in a half-cup of red wine vinegar for acidity and flavor contribution and salted to taste. During the final simmer (with all the pulp I was going to add), I put clean jars in the water bath canner with water to fill and cover and set that to heat to nearly a boil. I put the jar lids in a small metal bowl to cover with hot water from the canner once I got the jars out.
I use a ladle and jar funnel (another find from Lee Valley, but I've also seen them in stores that have canning supplies) to fill the jars, a small clean sponge to assure there's nothing on the jar lip, and my jar lifter to put the jars in the canner once the jar rings are on. I made and processed 6 pints of sauce at a time. Tomato sauce requires thirty five minutes of processing. I have a hand-wound timer that I use when I'm canning. I set it once the canner is boiling and can carry it with me.
I washed the pot and brought it back out to accumulate more pulp. When the sauce was processed, I had enough stock accumulated to make up 6 pints. The clean jars for that quickly heated in the water that the sauce jars came out of and were ready to fill by the time the stock had simmered.
I had lunch while beginning the simmer of my second batch of sauce. I was able to do another quick turnaround of jars once the stock was processed and the tomato sauce was finishing up.
I made 12 pints of tomato sauce in all.