It's a well known fact that with successful gardening comes a large harvest, and the best way to preserve all your hard work is to, well... preserve it! Our Operations Manager, Lorrie, decided to freeze her wealthy tomato harvest this past summer in preparation for making large batches of homemade marinara sauce!
She froze the blanched and skinned tomatoes in gallon freezer bags; defrosting about 30 lbs of them for this recipe. Makes about 25 cups of sauce.
INGREDIENTS: 30 lbs frozen tomatoes, defrosted and drained 8 whole bulbs of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves 4 medium onions, roughly chopped 1 cup olive oil 1/2 cup dried parsley (or 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley) 1/3 cup dried oregano (or 1 cup fresh oregano) 3 TBSP dried basil (or a heavy 1/2 cup of fresh basil) 2 whole carrots, peeled and grated 1 TBSP sugar Salt & pepper to taste (we used 3 TSP salt, 1/2 TSP pepper)
1. Place your 30 lbs of defrosted tomatoes in a large stock pot and set on medium/high heat.
2. Cook your tomatoes down until most of the water has cooked away. The tomatoes will turn a rich red color and, when you stir them, the tomatoes will coat your spoon. This process took several hours for us, so fear not if it takes a while! This is something you can set on the stove to cook while you're doing something else in the kitchen. Just be sure to stir them periodically.
3. A quick way to peel cloves of garlic is to smash them with the flat edge of a large knife. Peel all your garlic and set the cloves aside.
4. Peel and roughly chop your onions and set aside.
5. Grate your two carrots finely.
6. Add your garlic and onions to the pot, as well as olive oil. Stir and allow to cook a little longer (10-15 minutes).
6. Turn off heat and allow tomato mixture to cool enough to place in a food processor. We waited about 20-30 minutes.
7. Add in the carrots and send your tomato mixture through your food processor until it becomes velvety in texture.
8. We added our dried herbs after the tomatoes had already been processed, but you can add them before processing if you prefer.
9. Add sugar then salt and pepper to taste.
10. We chose to freeze our finished sauce in freezer-specific plastic containers, as it will be used fairly quickly. This recipe made about 25 cups of sauce. You can also can your sauce (check out our post on canning here). Now enjoy your sauce all winter long!