I really am trying to stock up on essentials and things that our family eats often. Cooking for the freezer has never been more on my mind than the last few weeks. With 9 mouths to feed most meals, it has become a bit more intense around here making sure that we have a good meal for dinner.
It’s the end of the summer and I am in LOVE with all of the low priced fresh produce. We have a farmer’s market just one block from our house that I try to get to as often as possible. And a few years ago I discovered this fabulous whole-sale produce market that just blows my mind every time I go. Seriously, I can walk out with a HUGE amount of produce for less than $30. The picture above was a grand total of $27.00!!!! They give huge discounts for buying in bulk. So, when I saw that Roma Tomatoes were $.67 per pound. I had to grab a box.
This box cost me a whopping $10! I think it was about 18-20 lbs of tomatoes. A LOT of tomatoes. They were just beautiful and super delicious.
Jordan loves tomatoes. He kept sneaking into the kitchen and grabbing one and eating it like an apple! He is so crazy. But cute. How could I say “No” to eating fresh veggies?
I decided to make freezer tomato sauce. This decision came about because A.) we eat a lot of dishes which have tomato sauce in the recipe and B.) canning is just too much work when you have a bunch of kids running under your feet.
This freezer sauce is really simple. There really isn’t a recipe. It’s a great beginner “From Scratch” recipe that requires the cook to do the cooking to “taste” or “eyeball it.” I grabbed my trusty Ninja Blender and started cutting up the tomatoes into it. No need to take out the stem part you usually cut out. It gets pureed right up with the sauce.
Then add in some garlic. I added quite a bit. We like garlic in my family. If you are not a big garlic fan, add less, or none at all.
Puree those tomatoes until you can’t see anymore tomato chunks and it is pink and frothy and super liquid-y. Don’t worry about the color, it will turn a beautiful dark red as you simmer your sauce.
Pour your pureed tomatoes into a large stockpot. And repeat with more tomatoes and garlic. I grossly underestimated just how much sauce I would be making with almost 20 lbs of tomatoes! I had to go dig out a second stock pot from the basement.
Simmer your sauce on medium-low for 5-6 hours. Stir every 30 minutes or so. You don’t want your sauce to burn, so keep an eye on it. It will reduce by quite a bit. The longer you allow it to simmer the thicker the sauce will be come.
This is a thinner tomato sauce. If you want it to be thicker (more like the consistency of canned tomato sauce) add some tomato paste to the blender. When I reached the 5 hour mark, I decided it was good enough for me…. Turned off the burner and allowed the sauce to cool for about an hour plus.
Once the sauce was room temperature, I measured about 4 cups into freezer zip bags. I had about 8 gallon size bags ready for the freezer. 4 cups is equal to approximately 2 cans of sauce that I normally use. I rarely use less than 2 cans of sauce in a recipe. Usually more, since I am feeding a small army! HA!
There are so many great ways to use this sauce. Think of it as a blank canvas. I will be posting several recipes soon! Check back for some fabulous and yummy tomato base food.
Okay. I am hungry now….