Tomato sauce is such a basic ingredient in so many things.  Here is the one I like to can to have on hand.

The Recipe: Basic Tomato Sauce


  • 12 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, unpeeled (about 24 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons fresh minced oregano or 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pickling salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon for each pint jar or 2 tablespoons for each quart jar bottled lemon juice


  • Core and remove any bad spots on tomatoes. Chop tomatoes. combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, sugar, pepper, salt and bay leaves in a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 1 1/2 hours or until very thick. Press sauce through food mill or coarse sieve, removing seed and skins. Discard or compost seeds and skins.
  • Put 1 tablespoon lemon juice for each pint jar or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice for each quart jar into hot, drained jars, ladle sauce into jars leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Clean rim before capping with hot lids and rings. Tighten rings finger tip tight. At sea level to 3000 ft above, process half-pint and pint jars for 35 minutes and quart jars for 40 minutes in a hot water batch