My Granny's Homemade Tomato Sauce





Introduction: My Granny's Homemade Tomato Sauce

My granny brews her own tomato sauce since... well, since always... The whole family uses her sauce in cooking instead of the typical, super market bought sauce (which is full of preservatives). The whole process takes place during summer (usually August) when our homegrown tomates are ripe and nice!!!

Step 1: The Ingrediants...

So, for this recipe you'll need;

a)Tomatoes (duh) (last time we used 30kg for 25 jars of medium consistency sauce)



Also things like a tomato press, jars and their lids, and thick gloves come in handy...

Step 2: Wash and Boil Your Tomatoes

Wash your tomatoes and then place them into a cooking pot with boiling water. Let them boil till their rind gets easily peeled off.

Step 3: Mash Up the Totatoes..!

Peel the rind off the tomatoes and mash them up with your tomato mill..

Step 4: Boil the Mixture (again)

NOW, .... The concept is that you boil your sauce till it thickens and then you put it into the jars. The thing is that in this step it comes to decide your preffered thickness of your sauce... For example, my granny preffers a medium thickness for her sauce and thus, she boils the mixture but she doesn't overdo it.


Step 5: Prepare the Jars

Wash the jars and their lids thoroughly and put them into a cooking pot with boiling water. Let them boil. (Boiling the jars adds into the sterilization process)

Step 6: Pour the BOILING Mixture Into the Super HOT Jars

The thing is that you MUST fill the jars 100% (and that;s when you;ll need the gloves). By filling the jars up to the top, there is no air left and thus, the sauce can be kept into the seelled jars up to 2 YEARS yet still fresh and edible, without using ANY preservatives. XD

Step 7: All Done! (last Tricks That Make the Difference)

Screw the lids to their jars while they're still hot and then, flip over the jars for a day. After that you can store them, and when you need to use some of the tomato sauce for your cooking, open a jar.

Disclaimer; Once a jar is oppened there is a limited time before the sauce starts to go bad (just like any other sauce).

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    22 Discussions

    I've been looking for exactly this process. How timely since my Roma are almost ready to harvest!

    4 replies

    his is an easy recipe, but was wondering how long should water bath them?

    Let them boil so that the jars are sterilized but the glass doesn't crack!!! BEST WISHES

    I work hard to keep all areas very clean. I
    wash counters, scrub sinks and wash the jars and tools in the dishwasher (and I
    am lucky enough to have the steam sanitize setting on my dishwasher). (It is a
    setting that cost $$$ and my hubby thought it was a waste of money but he does
    not can. A happy momma is a happy home)

    When I have the jars
    clean and out of the dishwasher, I line them up and add 1 Tablespoon of lemon
    juice to each quart. This lowers the ph to a higher acid level. I have used 5%
    vinegar. (2TBLS) this does not "change the taste" of the

    I wash and skin the
    tomatoes by the hot boil and cold blanch. The skins slip off.

    I pack the tomatoes in
    jars and run a knife in the jar to eliminate the air bubbles. I fill and leave
    1/2 inch from the rim. I clean the rims with white vinegar on a paper towel; I
    check the rims for chips and cleanness by cleaning with a wet (with white
    vinegar) paper towel. Then wet your finger with vinegar and rub the top like
    you are going to make music with a fine wine glass. An unbroken jar will make a
    squeak sing sound. You can feel if the rim has a chip, do not use that jar if
    you have a chip, dump our product in another jar or refrigerate it to use in a
    food dish that eve or the next day. If I have a chipped rim I will mark the jar
    with a piece of tape, sticker or a mark to make sure it does not cycle through
    the canning jars. I am lucky to live in an area that has recycling; I just
    recycle it right away.

    I boil the flats and
    place them on the jar and secure the ring.

    The very important
    part of canning is to destroy any and all bacteria that are in the air, on your
    hands and on all tools. The research and discoveries show the old methods are
    not always the best or safe method.

    To do this I hot water
    bath my tomatoes (with added acid). I have the big canners and I submerge the closed
    jars in water in the canner and make sure the jars are covered at least 2
    inches. I boil quarts 20 minutes at a ROLLING boil. You start timing the 20
    minutes when the rolling boil starts. My brother says a slow boil is 212
    degrees, DON'T listen to my brother. ROLLING!!!! He lost product with his
    gentle simmer.

    It is best to get
    schooling with an experienced caning person. They can show some simple tricks
    of tools, handling and cleanness. The extension department (state) has modern
    canning tips, sit in the library and peruse the MODERN canning books for a
    couple of hours. It will be worth your time. I have been canning for 45 years
    and can for 2 families. Right now I have 35 tomato plants and they are very
    happy with all of the rain. Yesterday I canned 26 quarts. Today I will probably
    harvest 4-5 bushels.

    I am the first to
    preach processing time and pressure cooking. I still read and reread books. I
    keep canning books at home, I found a favorite and I recheck processing times
    for pickles, jams, and jellies. I check with a modern canning book water bath
    times or pressure cooker times.

    Do not skip the not
    water bath and pressure cooking low acid foods. I use lemon juice to increase
    the acid level in tomatoes so I do not have to pressure cook. The modern tomato
    hybrids have eliminated some of the natural acidity. A home canning process has
    to replace the acid.

    I bought an electric
    pressure cooker and it is NOT recommended to can meat and fish. You still need
    to have a cooker with a weight.

    Thanks a lot! Best wishes for your sauce!!!

    FYI, it is the canning process itself which makes canned tomato sauce shelf-stable and safe, not "preservatives". There are no preservatives in commercial canned sauces; just read the freakin' label, dude.

    And the process you describe isn't even canning; its NOT safe for anything other than jams or jellies (in which the large amounts of sugar act as the preservative and prevent bacterial growth) or pickles which rely on high acid levels. Even fruits packed in syrup won't successfully can in the manner you describe.

    Tomatoes are marginal in terms of acid level; the FDA actually recommends pressure canning them rather than water-bath canning because of the .danger of botulism poisoning in low acid foods.

    My point is this; while you and granny have avoided problems thus far, this is an unsafe method of food preservation and Instructables is remiss in allowing you to publish it.

    People reading this assume you know what you're doing. You don't. Please remove this.

    1 reply

    Actually I said that this method is used for anything else than tomato sauce... We keep it in a dark, dry, cool place and it tastes fresh even 3 years after canning!! You're right concerning the fact that it goes bad if the lid is not seeled or gets unscrewed BUT... that is why we flip the jar over for a day. If there is air inside the jar, there are visible air bubbles and thus, we know something's gone wrong.... Also, when we need to can syroped fruits etc we follow another process. Anyway, I think your tone it's rather rude and so does your phrase about deleting this instructable....Instructables is a place where we suggest ''how-to'es'' and express our opinions... Whether you don't agree with the process followed in an instructable or with the opinions expressed to it, well, you have the option of not constructing that certain object in that way. Benevolent criticism is of course accepted... it helps the author to improve himself... Thanks for the comment, regardless your hostility, even if we disagree (of course you may know a thing or two more than me but take it easy)...

    Cheese Queen - I agree totally. As a certified Master Food Preserver, I would never use this method. I thought when I was flipping through the recipe, I had missed the water bath or pressure cooking step. Early on, my wife and I used the water bath canning method for tomato sauces, and never had a problem. But, I agree that the tomato is in the grey zone as far as acidity. We switched over to the pressure canning method a number of years ago, and have also never had any issues. If the lids do not seal, back into the pressure cooker they go with a new lid. Or, into the refrigerator the product goes for immediate use. Also, the UC Master Food Preserver Program and the Ball canning book recommend that one keep food out of direct sun light, in a cool place, and that they not be stored for no more than one year. And, if after storing your product, you open the jar and the lid lose or can be pried off with one's fingers, then it should be discarded since it did not seal properly to begin with.

    3 replies

    Assuming you've canned your food properly in the first place and its been stored in a cool, dry, dark place, taste and eating quality MAY be reduced after one year of storage ( I personally disagree; in my experience most foods are still fine after several years) , but *safety* is not compromised for as long as the lid and seal remains good.

    I agree, We too have had properly canned products that have last longer than a year (especially salsas, jams, etc.), but that is the position of the MFP program and a number of other canning books. It may be that they are liability conscious, and thus the shorter recommended time period.

    I just checked the Master Food Preserver program literature, and you can store the product for longer than a year, but the quality may start to deteriorate after one year. We have store salsa for longer and have never noticed a reduction in quality. But, your results may differ. .

    We use the "pasta sauce" for everything, including pasta. Good quality ingredients, on-the-shelf ready, you can make bunches of things even without noodles!

    To Mickamikaz, canning anything with meat raises the risk requires a lot more skill than canning tomato sauce. You can do what we do: keep the sauce on hand as a base for anything. Sauté some ground beef in onions, then pour in the sauce. Cook some shrimp, then add in the sauce to top your noodles. Making a pot of homemade soup -- pour in the sauce. Want some barbecue beans, open a can add some chile powder, and pour in the sauce. On and on, since the hard work and the best part, the tomato sauce, is so handy, it works everywhere!

    1 reply

    I thought that he meant wether he can use the sauce for his pasta.. Otherwise you're 100% right... We'd better minimize the risk when it comes to food..! Thanks mate!

    My grandmother does the same thing, she always have a lot of tomato jars ready to give. I live abroad and every time I come back she always have some jars ready for me :) She make two kind of sauce: the same as your granny and a traditional one (nom nom nom). Thanks sharing this :)

    1 reply

    That's what I call ''grannies' justice league'' LOL! Thanks for the comment! !!

    I'm thinking we have a language difference since you said it more than once, but in the US, sauce made with conservatives smacks of cannibalism. At the very least it would require some liberals to balance the flavor. We do agree fresh food without preservatives is an excellent thing. Love your recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    Actually the word is ''preservatives''... my mistake!!! Thanks for the comment buddy!

    You'd better thank my granny then!! Thanks for the comment !!! ;-)

    Awesome man ! Did you tried to ad some meat in it to make a good bolognese ? i'm curious