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I took this picture a few weeks ago after I had checked my garden. In the weeks since, I picked at least 10 more tomatoes. I wanted to use my tomatoes before they went bad, so I decided to try and make my own homemade tomato sauce for the first time.
Since I had not tried to make my own sauce before, I looked around for a good recipe. I found a few that I thought would be okay, but for one reason or another, I could not do the full recipe. I was missing ingredients, and I did not have a food grinder. I decided to just wing it, and come up with my own recipe.
I cut all of the tomatoes I had on the counter, which was about 10. I had a few different kinds, and I threw them all in the pot. I had regular red, heirloom, and several yellow/orange. Once the tomatoes were in the pot, I added a cup of water and set the heat to medium for a few minutes. I kept a close eye on them. Once they began boiling, I turned the heat down.
After about 20 minutes or so, the tomatoes were softening, and the skin and seeds were starting to separate. Several recipes had said to put the tomatoes in a grinder at this point. I did not have one. I took out my potato masher, and began to mash the tomatoes. After a few minutes, the pulp became juice, and the skins began to sit on top of the masher so they were easy to remove. I put everything I removed from the pot in a bowl, and sat it aside.
Kara wanted to help me with this step. I first strained all of the liquid in the pot to remove any remaining skins and seeds. We then strained what was in the bowl that I had sat aside. We wanted to make sure to get all of the liquid, and mash the pulp a little bit more.
What we had left was a big bowl of tomato liquid. At this step it would be easy to make tomato soup. Just add some chicken broth or cream, and heat a little longer. We had considered making soup, but I did not have broth or cream on hand.
While the liquid was in the bowl, I cleaned out the pot before doing the next step. I finely chopped 3 garlic cloves. You could use more or less depending on your preference. I did not have onion, so I added in some dry onion, some Italian seasoning, and salt a pepper. Once the garlic looked done, I added the tomato liquid back to the post to simmer.
I simmered the sauce for about 2 hours. I would probably have done it longer, but I started late in the afternoon and it was getting late.
The sauce was thinner than the jar sauce that we were used to. It could be made thicker had I added some tomato puree from a grinder, or had more time to simmer. It did not matter though, the kids LOVED it, and that is what counts. I only had enough left to fill 1 1/2 pint jars. I will definitely make this sauce again.