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Aug 27, 2011 11:34 PM

Canning tomato sauce - two questions

Bought 30# of tomatoes at the market this morning and I'm processing them into a sauce. Since I'm planning to can the completed product using a hot water bath, I'm following Barbara Kingsolver's recipe from Animal Vegetable Miracle. I have two questions. FIRST, the recipe calls for 1 cup of dried basil. I don't have dried basil - I don't care for it, so I never have it on hand - so I raided my garden and subbed fresh. I know acidity is extremely important, and now I wonder: will the fresh basil affect pH? Should I freeze the sauce to be on the safe side? SECOND, the recipe starts with 10 quarts of tomato puree from 30# of tomatoes, and I got more than that. I have about three quarts of leftover puree. I'd really appreciate some ideas on how to use those up. Thanks in advance, Hounds!


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  1. You can either can the leftover just like the rest of it, put it in the fridge to use in the next few days, or freeze it.

    The basil shouldn't affect the acidity enough to hurt anything.

    1. I would have just thrown all the tomato puree in. Tomato sauce is very forgiving - quantities tend to be on the loose side. But if it's too late for this, you can freeze the puree as is to use in tomato soup or whatever OR you can make a batch of tomato soup and freeze that. I'd probably just freeze the puree in 2 cup bags or containers - this will come in very handy at some point in the winter.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        Hijacking here. I just did my first 4 quarts of tomatoes, chopped them up skins and all, 2 T. bottled lemon juice per quart and 1 tsp salt, smouched them to make the juices flow and then put them in the pot for the alloted hour plus. Can I grind up tomatoes, add in some herbs and then, without cooking them use this same procedure? Seems logical, I am new to the canning so thought I would just ask.

        1. re: JEN10

          I think you can do that but you'll have to check about the processing time. It will have to be long enough to heat the jars to the correct temperature. If I remember correctly, sauce that has already been cooked will require a shorter processing time. Don't take my word for this though. Please check with some reliable source.

          1. re: Nyleve

            I will look into it further, Thank you, Jennifer

        1. re: rasputina

          I came to basically agree with this. Canned plain, you can always decide later what you want to do with them. With a pantry full of pasta sauce, you're basically confined to pasta dishes. Also agreeing that the lemon juice is a good addition. It really doesn't affect the flavor at all.