Every year it seems that there’s an overload of tomatoes in the fall, so I make and freeze this sauce to use up all those wonderful tomatoes. If you’re making it with fresh ingredients from the garden, it has great flavor and can be used in so many ways throughout the winter months.
Besides the tomatoes, we usually have everything else that goes into it ripening in the garden too, so making it is convenient. Things like chili, spaghetti sauce, pizza, tomato based casseroles, etc. all benefit by starting with a flavorful sauce like this one. It helps us get through the cold months until tomatoes are fresh again in another year.
The recipe is adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash.
Fall Freezer Tomato Sauce
- 7 lbs ripe tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped red or yellow pepper
- 1/2 cup beef (chicken, or vegetable broth)
- 1 cup tomato paste (this can be omitted, but the sauce must be simmered substantially longer to achieve a thicker consistency)
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Peel and chop the tomatoes or run them through a tomato strainer (I use one attached to my Kitchenaid stand mixer and it's very quick and easy).
- Heat the oil, and saute the onions and carrots until the onions start to brown. Add the celery and peppers, and saute until they're limp.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the herbs and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves. If the tomatoes were not initially run through a strainer, immersion blend the sauce to the desired consistency.
- Allow to cool, fill freezer containers, chill in the refrigerator, and then freeze.