Friday, April 17, 2015

Spaghetti Sauce--Fill My Freezer Friday

Last summer, I canned a ton of tomatoes.

Ok, not a ton. But a lot. It took roughly ten years. Or maybe five or six hours. It was hard to tell.

And I found myself hoarding them. Does anyone else do that? Canning tomatoes is a lot of work, and I'm not wasting that work on some mundane meal, ok?

Summer is heading this way again, which means I'll have another couple dozen quarts of tomatoes to can. Canning leads to hoarding. It's a sickness.

I decided to be proactive this year (for a change) and use up my old tomatoes before I can new ones. My family loves spaghetti. We eat it at least twice a month. So it's logical for me to use my precious, precious tomatoes on spaghetti sauce.

I just dumped 6 quarts of whole tomatoes into the crockpot and smushed them up. "Smush" is a technical cooking term that involves a slotted spoon or potato masher and random up and down motions. I learned it on Food Network.

I added about four tablespoons of minced garlic, and three tablespoons each of dried oregano and basil. I also added two diced onions. I set the crockpot to low and walked away for 6 hours or so. (This is a very fussy recipe.)

Then, I got tired and went to bed. So I asked the Mister to please cool the tomatoes and stick them in the fridge. He's awesome that way.


The next day, I tasted the tomatoes. They were a bit acidic for me, so I added some sugar. This amount is to taste. I processed them in the blender until most of the chunks were gone.

Then I put the sauce into zipper bags. Conveniently, the amount that fits in my blender is the amount that fits in my zipper bags. I labeled them, and then stacked them on a tray and stuck them in the freezer. You'll do a better job and label the bags before you put sauce in them. It's much easier that way, but I always forget. All together, I got three zipper bags of sauce.

The color is definitely different than sauce from a jar. I think part of the difference is that I didn't add any tomato paste. But spaghetti sauce from the store almost always has red food color added, and I think that's part of the reason too.


Now we have spaghetti sauce ready and waiting. I can add the sauce while it's still frozen to hot, fully cooked ground beef or turkey. By the time the sauce is ready, the pasta will be too. I love when that happens.











Freezer Spaghetti Sauce


6 quarts canned tomatoes
2 medium onions, diced
4 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons dried basil
Sugar, to taste, after tomatoes have been cooked

Place all ingredients, except sugar, into crockpot. Stir together, and press down on tomatoes to begin breaking them up.

Cook on low at least 6 hours.

Cool overnight, if desired.

Taste mixture and add sugar as desired. Process tomatoes in blender or food processor until desired texture.

Cool to at least room temperature, then add to labeled freezer bags.

Lay bags flat on a tray and place into freezer. Freeze, then store.

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