In the middle of August, our tomato plants really took off! We came home from a road trip and had tons of red roma tomatoes to pick. We spent quite a bit of time out in the garden with the kids. We also got lots of onions, sweet peppers, peaches, raspberries, zucchini and chard. I’ve canned tomatoes in the past, but I really don’t like to can so the past few years when we get lots of tomatoes, we make it into spaghetti sauce and freeze it. I know it still takes some work and time, but not quite as much and when I’m done I’ve got all this ready made portioned out spaghetti sauce that my family loves.
Before you start mixing up your spaghetti sauce, you need to blanch your tomatoes. I Fill a large stock pot about 3/4 full of water and then I bring the water to a boil over high heat.
Then I add a couple handfuls of tomatoes.
Set the timer for thirty seconds and allow them to sit in there during that short time.
After 30 seconds, remove the tomatoes with a large slotted spoon and place them in a large bowl filled with very cold water. Add another couple handfuls of tomatoes. Repeat the process until all the tomatoes are blanched. With a sharp knife, cut off the end of a tomato and squeeze tomato out of the skin into a large mixing bowl (when you squeeze, you’ll squeeze out some of the water and seeds into the bowl which is a good thing….you’ll dump those down the sink to create a thicker, less seedy sauce).
Put tomatoes in blender and blend until smooth. You’ll need to do a couple of batches. Dump tomato puree into slow cooker. (if you prefer a chunky spaghetti sauce, don’t blend until smooth but rather pulse a few times until the consistency you like)
In same the blender(no need to clean it), add onions and pepper. Pulse until the consistency you prefer.
Add this to a large slow cooker(5-6 quart) then add the remaining ingredients. You can also cook this in a large stock pot and simmer for several hours.
Cook for 4-8 hours in your slow cooker on high heat. The longer you cook, the thicker it gets. You could also add a can of tomato paste to thicken it up some more, but if I’m making spaghetti sauce from scratch, I don’t want to add anything from a can and I absolutely love the fresh taste! Stir it occasionally. Let sauce cool. Pour sauce into quart size freezer containers or freezer ziploc bags. Store in freezer for several months. Be sure to label your freezer items with the contents, date and amount.
Freezer Spaghetti Sauce (makes about 4 quarts)
about 16+ cups tomatoes (I used two large mixing bowls full of tomatoes…which was probably around this amount)
4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried or fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Blanch tomatoes. Cut tops and squeeze out of skin. Put tomatoes in blender and blend until smooth. You’ll need to do a couple of batches. Dump tomato puree into slow cooker.In same blender(no need to clean), add onions and pepper and pulse until the consistency you like. Add this to the slow cooker then add remaining ingredients. Cook for 4-8 hours on high heat. The longer you cook, the thicker it gets. Stir occasionally. Let sauce cool. Pour sauce into quart size freezer containers or freezer ziploc bags. Store in freezer. Good for several months(I’ve used mine a year later and it’s still good).