Tomato sauce is one of the best, and most common ways of storing your tomato harvest. And making tomato sauce doesn’t need any special cooking skills. Roasted Tomato Sauce became our go to last year. It has a rich and deep flavour, with hints of caramel from the roasted onions. You can use a variety of different tomatoes, and it works well as a canning sauce. If you are looking for a new tomato sauce recipe for your pantry, this one is a real winner.Jump to Recipe
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Using Many Tomato Varieties Makes For A Yummy Sauce
This year, we are using a bunch of different varieties of tomatoes for our tomato sauce. In the past I would try to grow a few plants of one type specifically for sauces. Until last year, that had been fine, but last season a few of my “sauce varieties” didn’t survive an early cold night. So we made due with what we had left. And it turned out great! All the different varieties add a little something extra to the finished sauce.
Something I really love about this tomato sauce is how rich and thick it is. It isn’t quite as thick as tomato paste, but it’s still pretty thick. That’s because of the roasting. During the roasting process a good percent of the moisture is removed from the tomatoes, leaving a thicker more intensely flavoured tomato sauce. When I want to use the sauce, I can use it in it’s thicker form, with more sturdy pastas or in lasagna. Or I can thin it with cream, or stock or pasta cooking water! Which makes it very versatile.
Blending Your Tomato Sauce Up!
Once the veggies are roasted, the sauce gets transferred to a deep bowl or pot and I blend it with an immersion blender. If you’ve visited this site before you may have noticed how much I love my immersion blender. If this is your first time on the site, then prepare for many immersion blender fangirl recipes! Of course, if you don’t want to join me in immersion blender land (which you could do by getting yourself one like this!) you can blend this sauce up in a standard blender.
For canning this tomato sauce recipe, I recommend pressure canning. Due to using multiple varieties of tomatoes, as well as other veggies (onions, garlic and fresh herbs) it can be difficult to achieve the pH necessary to safely water bath can. For my guide to the Basics of Pressure Canning, check out the link here. If you’re already a pressure canner, this recipe makes 4 pint jars of sauce, which I process at 11 pounds of pressure for 30minutes. I tend to err on the side of caution when I’m canning, and have heard you can use a lower pressure for thick sauces. But I just want to play it safe. And of course, follow all the recommended safety precautions of cleaning, sterilizing, and heat/cooling. Again, if anyone is new to pressure canning or simply needs a refresher please check out my post.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Pressure canner, if canning.
- 6 lbs Tomatoes (~2.7kgs)
- 1.5 lbs Red Onion (660g)
- 4 cloves Garlic Or 6 Garlic Scapes
- 4 tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 tbsps Honey
- 2 Thai Red Chilis
- 1/2 cup Packed, Fresh Basil
- ~1 cup Water to thin slightly during blending.
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Heat the oven to 400F
- Cut up the tomatoes into large chunks. Cut very large tomatoes into quarters and smaller ones into halves. Add them to two large roasting pans.
- Cut the onion into thick wedges. Slice the garlic, and dice up the chilis. Add all three to the roasting pans.
- Drizzle the vegetables with balsamic vineger, olive oil, and honey. Toss all the vegetables together to coat.
- Roast for about 30-35 minutes. The edges of the vegetables should be caramelizing, and everything should be bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and add all the vegetables to a deep bowl or a pot. Add the basil to the vegetables, and blend with an immersion blender. (Or blend in a standard blender) Add some water as needed to thin the sauce while blending. Don't add too much our the sauce won't be as thick and delicious. Season to taste. If canning, heat the sauce up to bubbling again before transferring to jars.This sauce can also be frozen for up to 4 months.
- Lay out a tea towel, and gather your canning equipment. Jar grabber, new snap lids, ring tops, jar funnel, a small bowl of white vinegar and clean cloth, your pressure canner.
- Sterilize 4 pint jars in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Heat 6 cups of water +2 tbsps white vinegar in your canner.
- Remove the sterilized jars from the oven with a jar grabber and line up on your tea towel. Working one jar at a time; Pour the sauce into a hot jar leaving 1" headspace at the top. Wipe the rim of the jar with vinegar. Place on a snap lid and secure it with a ring top. Using your grabber, move the jar in to the heating canner. Repeat with the rest of the jars.
- Secure the canner lid, without the jiggler, and allow to vent until the vent lock has activated, and there's a continuous stream of steam coming out of the vent. This should take about 10 minutes. Next, place the jiggler on the vent and allow the canner to come up to 11lbs of pressure. For this stage I set my stove to about 4 (on a 1-10 scale).
- Once the canner has reached 11lbs of pressure on the dial gauge, start a timer for 30minutes. Monitor the canner the whole time to make sure it doesn't over pressurize or fall below 11lbs.
- After the 30 minutes. turn off the heat, and gently move the canner off the hot burner. Wait until the pressure on the gauge has gone all the way down, then remove the jiggler. At this point I wait about 45 minutes before unlocking the lid.
- Unlock the lid after a good long waiting period, but don't remove the lid yet. Just twist it to unlock it. Then leave it alone for another 45 minutes to up to as long as you like. The reason this slow depressurization is so important is that the jars can break if the pressure lowers too fast. Or the contents can overflow. So take your time and be patient.
- When you're ready to get the jars out, remove the lid, by tilting the lid away from you to avoid steam burning your face. Move the jars to a tea towel in a spot where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.
- Label your jars with the date and store in a cool dark pantry for up to 18months. (except that you'll eat them way before that, because this sauce is delicious!)