How to Make and Preserve Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce
This recipe makes about 6 (16 oz) pints.
This recipe delivers traditional Italian flavor with no oil and balances the quantity of low-acid vegetables with added acid (lemon juice) for water-bath canning. Altering ingredients or quantities may result in an unsafe product, due to a change in the pH balance.
How to Make Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce
- Combine 1 cup of tomato purée, onion, celery, carrot and garlic in a large stainless steel saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- While maintaining a steady boil, add the remaining tomato purée, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently.
- Stir in lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and hot pepper flakes. Increase heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil; boil hard, stirring frequently, until mixture is reduced by one third, about 15 minutes.
How to Preserve Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce
In a Canner
- Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
- Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and re-measure headspace. If needed, add more sauce to meet recommended headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
- Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 35 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when the center is pressed.
In a Freezer
When the sauce has cooled, seal the container and freeze. BPA-free plastic containers, resealable plastic freezer bags, or freezer-proof glass jars work great for freezing the sauce. Using plastic bags is the easiest and fastest when it comes to thawing; they also stack nicely in a wire freezer basket. Jars and plastic containers offer a little more protection against freezer burn, so they are better for longer-term freezing. The sauce will last for at least a year in the freezer.
You will need
- 16 cups fresh plum tomato purée
- 1 ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
- 3 ⅓ cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped carrot
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 tbsp bottled lemon juice
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
- 6 Ball® (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
- Water Bath Canner or Ball® freshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner + Multicooker
Looking for an all-purpose sauce recipe? We have that too! HOW TO MAKE AND CAN ALL-PURPOSE TOMATO SAUCE