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Time To Make the Sauce

Michael Giacopassi

Posted on September 05 2018

It is a rite of passage, a way to mark the seasons, a true tell tale that summer is waning and Autumn is around the corner. A time honored tradition of turning summer's bounty in to a form that will carry throughout winter.

It's tomato sauce time! 

This year because of several reasons my own tomato harvest wasn't up to it's normal standards so I decided to buy 50 lbs from The Hickories  and go that route.

50lbs of roma tomatoes

What a beautiful sight! After a quick little bath to get nice and clean off in to a pot of water they would go. My old old school Italian tomato mill likes them a little softer so to get the skins loosened up a little hot water bath is applied.

Then a quick strain and in to the hopper. The mill machine i have is old and amazingly dangerous. The motor + open belt drive system makes is so no long hair or loose articles of clothing is allowed around here or else you can get sucked in and lose a important piece of your body.

roma tomato milling machine

tomato milling machine

The beauty of this machine is it's ability to separate the skin and seeds from the sauce at a quick pace while keeping the splatter and mess to a minimum. Once the waste comes out it can be fed back through the hopper once or twice to get the most liquid from the remains.

roma tomato mill

Now that you have a few buckets full of sauce it is time to reduce. Some people skip this step and go straight to canning/bagging, but since I soften my tomatoes up in water to begin with they are bloated with more water than when they started so I like to at least remove what I added.

roma tomato canning process

You can make your sauce as thick or thin as you want. If you go too far you can always reconstitute with water - it simply depends on what you plan on making. Soup? Ragu? 

canned tomato sauce

When canning be sure to leave a bit more room than I have at the top of your jars - 1/2" will do. Feel free to throw in some citric acid, salt and a basil leaf or two.

Im not going to get in to the canning process here as there are much better and detailed tutorials on that subject - but this is my process for getting to this point.

Happy tomato season!


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