Since moving into my flat two years ago I have been so lucky to have the luxury to have my own vegetable garden where I can not only grow an abundance of vegetables to eat fresh but also to freeze and preserve to enjoy throughout the year. My favourite vegetables are definitely summer vegetables such as zucchini, tomato and capsicum and as such I always end up growing more than my boyfriend and I can consume fresh. As a result of this I have been experimenting with preserving and bottling over the course of my summer break and it’s actually not nearly as daunting as I thought it would be.
Considering my favourite type of food is anything vaguely pasta related my first course of action was to experiment with some homemade pasta sauce free of any nasty added sugars and chemicals. I took the simplest route imaginable for my first go at it and as such this recipe isn’t suitable to last longer than roughly (and I do mean very roughly) one to two months since it is not properly preserved but simply bottled. When my next lot of tomatoes are ready I will experiment with adding some natural preservatives so that the sauce can last for many months. However, if you want to try make even a simple pasta sauce from scratch here is what I did:
- Approx. 2.5kg of defrosted tomatoes (fresh can be used too, however, they would then need to be blanched so that the skins fall off easy and so that they are soft).
- As many herbs as you would like (I used a lot of rosemary and some mixed herb)
- Rock salt
- Extras: garlic if you want (although I usually prefer to add this fresh to any dish I make)
- Turn oven on to bake at about 180°C
- Drain any excess liquid but make sure there is still some left to ensure the sauce isn’t too thick.
- Place tomatoes in a big oven dish and spread them out.
- Place any seasonings such as herbs and salt on the tomatoes.
- Place dish in the oven and allow to roast for about 30 minutes or until the tops of the tomatoes just start to change colour.
- Allow to cool before either using a hand blender or a food processor to blend the tomatoes until they have formed a smooth sauce.
- While still hot, pour the sauce into glass preserving jars (or even old jam or peanut butter jars depending on size) an seal while still hot. This recipe will make about 3 medium sized jars.
- If the sauce is being bottled like this ensure the jars have been sterilized and are still warm when the sauce is being poured to ensure the glass does not crack.
- Make sure to date the jars to ensure that they are used before the sauce spoils.
And that folks, is all she wrote! It’s not the most complex recipe with million different ingredients (or really even a recipe at all) but it is delicious and very quick and cheap to make which when you are on a student budget is really all that is required for students!
Hope you all have had an amazing weekend 🙂