Monday I finally got round to cooking and bottling my growing stock of ‘Roma’ and ‘San Marzano I I ’ tomatoes, two varieties which make great sauces and purees. I turned them into a yummy herby chunky tomato sauce. Which I then bottled using this technique. Everything went as per planned, I used bottles with plastic coated metal covers and (as I hoped) as the bottles cooled it created a vacuum and the bottles original pop up seal have sunk in which hopefully means the bottles are now air tight. I just hope now that it has worked and that my 4lbs of tomatoes don’t spoil in storage.
My recipe for ‘Chunky Tomato Sauce’ was adjusted in relation to what I had.
Tomatoes (cut into chunky pieces) - 4lbs.
Garlic (roughly chopped) - 1 clove per tomato.
Olive oil - a very healthy ‘glug’ to cover the base of the pan.
Black pepper (freshly ground) - approx 1.5 tbsp.
Soy sauce - approx 2 tbsps.
Fresh herbs used: oregano, parsley (leaves and 1 tbsp of dried seeds because it was available on the plant), thyme, par-cel (celery leaves are a good substitute) and leaves from saved onion tops (which are being kept fresh in the fridge in a cup of water but spring onions are a good alternative). The herbs I used were what I had growing in my garden, you can adjust it to suit what you have or like.
Scotch bonnet chilli - 1 cooked whole to impart flavour with a little heat, if you like things really hot (I have to think of the kids) you can chop it up and add as much as you like.
Salt - I used near the end to taste but also was aware that when I plan to use the sauce in the future I may add salt to a dish so I did not add too much at this time, you may choose not to add any at all.
Method: I sautéed the garlic, herbs and black pepper in the olive oil and soy sauce for about five minutes over a medium to low heat (don’t let the garlic burn as it will become bitter). I then added the tomatoes lightly mixed to incorporate the herbs then added the chilli on the top, turned the heat down and covered the pot leaving the tomatoes to breakdown into a semi liquid.
While the sauce is cooking sterilise your bottles and lids. Once the sauce is cooked to your liking bottle it up and sterilise according the canning method of your choice, the technique I used is hyperlinked above.
Roll on Tuesday then and using mangocheeks plum and mulled wine jam recipe I transformed those lovely tasting damsons into something fantastic (by the time my four year old was finished licking the spoon once I was done with it didn’t need washing but I thought I probably wasn’t a good idea to stick her germs back into the cutlery drawer). I did alter the recipe though, as there was no opened bottles of red wine in the cabinet I used some sherry instead.
The hawthorn drippings were also sorted out and using this recipe. I also doubled the water quantities (see the recipe’s comments left recently). But following the explanation given by the blog’s writer I will try this recipe again with haws picked later in the season. There is a lovely covered bush at the allotment so I’ll definitely give it another go. My jelly sadly didn’t thickened up although it was setting when I tested it prior to bottling. Never mind the sauce is delectably sweet and the kids will relish it on their morning pancakes and ice ream treats.