It’s the end of the tomato season and at the fresh vegetable market you can now by tomatoes buy the box for as little as $10. It’s the perfect time to be canning your own tomatoes. The fruit is ripe, full of flavor and economical.

Tomatoes have been canned at home for centuries. But if not done properly canning your own food, including tomatoes, can be very dangerous to your health. Make sure you follow every step carefully and always use sterilized equipment. To sterilize equipment boil for at least 10 minutes.


6 pounds Roma tomatoes

9 basil leaves

6 garlic cloves

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 peppercorn

1 tablespoon sea salt

Tools you will need: Jars, lids, several deep pots, tongs, ladle and kitchen towels.

To sterilize jars: Wash jars, and lids with hot soapy water. Separate jars from lids. Put jars in a deep pot, and lids a small pot making sure the water covers 2 inches over the jars and lids. Bring to boil for 10 minutes. Do the same thing with tongs and ladle. Use sterilized tongs to take jars out of water.

Cook tomato sauce: Meanwhile wash and cut tomatoes and basil and put all ingredients in large pot. Cook on medium heat, mixing every 5 minutes, for 30 minutes.

When tomatoes are cooked, using a hand held blender, blend tomatoes into sauce.

Being careful not to burn yourself, fill jars using the sterilized ladle. Do not fill jars to the top, leave at least two fingers of empty space in jars.  Put lids on jars.

To seal jars: Put closed jars in a deep pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Boil jars for 45 minutes. To take out jars from hot water use the tongs. Place jars upside down on a kitchen-towel lined surface until cool.

The sauce will bubble inside jars. By the time the jars have cooled off the lids will be concave (sucked in) and the jars are now sealed. To check press on lid, if it does not move, the jar is sealed. If the lid still moves under the pressure of your finder, refrigerate sauce and use within two weeks.

Risks of homemade canning: some microorganism like Clostridium botulinum (which causes botulism) can still survive most sterilization techniques at least in small numbers.

Store in dark, cool place.

This sauce is good on pasta, pizza or any way you usually use tomato sauce.

Buon appetito!

Cook with your heart!  Rima

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