Marcella Hazan’s celebrated tomato sauce is pretty simple – the original recipe calls only for tomatoes, onion, butter and salt. And it makes about two cups of sauce, a nice amount for one pound of pasta.
But Marcella’s recipe is not home-canning friendly. Her simmered-then-discarded onion is fine, the big chunk of butter is not. The solution? Make the sauce without the butter; then add it when reheating the sauce to serve.
It’s an easy sauce, made even easier to can with a steam canner.
The Ball FreshTECH canner is pricey ($399 on Amazon). I was given one to test drive by the Ball PR people. At first I was skeptical. Heck, I’m a hale and hearty canner, what’s a cauldron or two of boiling water? But I was soon hooked by the ease of pushing a button and walking away while the FreshTECH steamed away untended.
Although not prominently categorized as such, the FreshTECH is a steam canner. Steam canning operates in a similar manner to boiling water bath canning. (Important to note: a steam canner is not a pressure canner!)
FreshTECH does have limitations, mostly in the recommended recipes. And for experienced canners the lack of cooking time information that corresponds to the machine’s programmed cycles is disappointing. But since steam canning isn’t fully endorsed by all the canning authorities, Ball’s vetted recipes are no-brainers. Here are the FreshTECH basic tomato sauce recipe and FreshTECH Italian Tomato Sauce Recipes.
This Marcella adaptation falls well in the safe zone for boiling water canning, acid-wise. A pH meter test of this sauce was 4.1, below the minimum of 4.5.
All this said, again do note that Ball only recommends strict adherence to their recipes.
MARCELLA HAZAN STYLE TOMATO SAUCE CANNING RECIPE – FreshTECH Cooker Adaptation
Recipe makes 5 pints
NOTE: Recipe for Ball FreshTECH steam canner on the “Sauce 6” setting or in a traditional stove-top boiling water bath for 35 minutes
15 lbs. fresh ripe tomatoes, washed
1 Tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1 Tablespoon bottled lemon juice per pint jar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon peeper
2. Using a large spoon to avoid splashes put four to six tomatoes at a time into the boiling water. Do not crowd the pot, the water should continue to simmer. Cook for one minute, then use the spoon to transfer the tomatoes to the ice water. Repeat until all the tomatoes are blanched.
3. When the tomatoes are cool, use a paring knife to cut out the stem and core. Peel off the loose skins.
4. Cut each tomato in half around the middle. Working over a bowl, squeeze each half to remove the seeds – use a finger to scoop out stragglers. Roughly chop the seeded tomato halves. (NOTE: You can strain the seeds in the bowl to make a delicious fresh tomato juice.)
5. Add 2 T. olive oil and the chopped garlic to a large pot. Heat until it sizzles, then add the chopped tomatoes. When it starts to simmer use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes to a lumpy pulp.
6. Hold the onion root end up and cut in half, so that each piece is anchored by the root bundle. Peel off the papery skins and place the halves into the sauce. Stir in the basil, salt and pepper.
7. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes or until it is reduced by about half.
8. Add 1 Tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to 5 freshly cleaned pint jars. Remove the onion halves from the sauce. Fill the jars with the hot sauce, leaving 1/2 ” headspace, seal with clean lids and bands. Process in the FreshTECH canner on the “Sauce 6” setting (80 minute cycle with 60 minutes active steaming time) or in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes. (The discarded onions make an excellent snack.)
9. When done, remove jars from the cooking vessel. Let cool, check that the seals stay down when pressed. Store in a cabinet until ready to use.
REHEATING THE SAUCE FOR SERVING: Pour the canned sauce into a pot and heat to a simmer. Add 4 Tablespoons per each pint used. Serve with grated cheese.Print This Post