The Tasty Tomato

It’s that time of year again. The garden is in full swing, and I’m slowly filling the freezer and pantry with goodies to last throughout the year.

Now it’s tomato time and I love trying new ways to use this veggie in a variety of sauces. One of my favorites isn’t new at all but it’s delicious and easy to make. This freezer recipe for spaghetti sauce is so yummy you’ll never want to use store-bought again:

Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

20 cups chopped tomatoes

3 ½ cups chopped celery

3 ½ cups chopped onions

1 cup green pepper

5 cups water

1 ¼ cup sugar

1 ½ T. oregano

1 T. garlic powder

1 T. pepper

3 T. canning salt

4 – 12 oz. cans tomato paste

Mix all ingredients, except for tomato paste, in a large pot and simmer for 2 hours, stirring frequently. If you like a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender. Remove from heat and stir in the cans of tomato paste. Cool completely or chill. Then freeze in freezer bags or containers. This recipe makes approximately 14 or 15 pints.

The following tomato sauce recipe is a fairly new one I found and tweaked a bit to suit my tastes. I can it in pint jars for pizza sauce and freeze some in small containers for those recipes that require a small amount of tomato sauce, like sloppy joes.

Tomato Sauce

1/3 cup cooking oil

2 cups finely chopped onions

1 small finely chopped carrot

1 stalk of finely chopped celery, including leafy tops

2 T. oregano

2 tsp. basil

1 bay leaf

2 T. sugar

2 T. chopped garlic

8 cups of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped. (Remove seeds if desired.)

1 T. salt

½ tsp. pepper

2 cans (6 oz.) tomato paste

tomato sauceHeat oil in a large pan and cook onion, celery, and carrot. Cover and cook over low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add remaining spices, tomatoes, and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about an hour until sauce has thickened to desired consistency. Remove bay leaf. Use a blender if you like a smoother consistency.

This recipe makes about five or 6 pints of sauce.

Published by

Shari Barr

Shari Barr lives on a farm in southwest Iowa with her husband and they have a grown son and daughter. Her most recent fiction titles include four "McKenzie" books in the Camp Club Girls series for middle grade girls.

8 thoughts on “The Tasty Tomato”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Shari! I’ve never canned tomatoes before, since I don’t currently have a vegetable garden, but I remember my mom doing this all of the time growing up. I’m not sure if she actually made the sauce or if she just simmered the tomatoes for use throughout the year, but I definitely recall lots of freezer bags of tomato sauce in our freezer. I might have to actually plant some tomatoes next year and try your recipe!

    1. That’s one of the best summer memories with my mom, too. She canned everything. Guess she passed it on to me.

  2. Great, thanks Shari!! I’m looking for some recipes for all of the tomatoes we have, so this was incredibly timely.

  3. Oooohhhh…I’m going to try both of these. I didn’t plant a veggie garden this year but I can pick up fresh picked tomatoes at the farmers market pretty cheap. I canned tomatoes years ago and just don’t have the umph to do it these days — but freezer sauce I can do and I have an empty freezer waiting to be filled. Thanks for the recipes.

    1. I also freeze tomato juice so it will be ready for chili. I just add some onions and green peppers, salt and pepper and then cook it til veggies are done. Then I run it all through a blender. Have fun using your tomatoes. Hope you like the recipes.

Comments are closed.