A bowl of fresh pasta with tomato sauce and lashings of grated parmesan is one of lifes simple pleasures. Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in Italian cooking and preserving the bounty of summer allows you to have fresh tomato sauce all year round. Add a little crushed garlic or dried oregano to taste. This recipe makes just over 10 litres and can easily be halved.
20kg Roma tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time: 2 hours
Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow the tomatoes and water to cool.
Put the tomatoes through a strainer to separate the skins and seeds from pulp.
Place a fresh basil leaf in each sterilised bottle. Fill the bottles with pulp using a funnel and seal the lid tightly. Place the bottles in a drum of water and bring it slowly to boil. Simmer gently for 1 hour. (This can also be done in a pot or a saucepan or on the stove).
Makes 14 x 750 ml bottles of sauce.
Puree machines, mincers and bottle screw machines are available at specialist importers and winemaking stores.
How to Sterilise Jars and Recycled Bottles
If you are buying brand new jars or using recycled bottles always get into the habit of washing the screw top lids and glass jars/bottles with warm soapy water. Rinse with fresh water and place glass jars/bottles on a tray and pop them into the oven at 120 degrees for 10 minutes until jars/bottles are completely dry. Wait for jars/bottles to cool before handling them or use tongs when taking them out of the oven. Label and date your jars/bottles and keep them in a dark pantry.