Mariquita Farm

Tomato Sauce Essay

San Marzano Tomato Sauce Photo Essay Here


These are San Marzano paste tomatoes on the vine in our field.

Washing and roughly quartering the tomatoes.  

Into the pot with optional seasonings. I often just make pure tomato sauce then doctor it up in the winter when I have more time.  

Sauced and bagged ready for the freezer.

There's a few tomato putting up recipes below, click here for our main tomato recipe page.


"Putting up" tomatoes from Julia:

preparing the tomatoes for canning or freezing: I put whole tomatoes, with the green calix removed, in a big dry pan. Then I cook them down til their good and sauced. Then I let them cool a some, then I put them through a food mill to easily remove skins and seeds. Now, if the sauce is too watery, I cook it down some more. Then I proceed with glass jar canning (good for BLACKOUTS!), or with the ziploc method. This does include letting the sauce contact plastic, but I live with that for convenience.

Ziploc method: Take prepared tomato sauce, add chopped basil if you like, and add to freezer ziploc bags. Label with a permanent marker and then put in freezer.

FRESH TOMATO SAUCE adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
3 Tablespoons chopped basil
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter

Put the tomatoes in a heavy pan with the basil. Cover and cook over medium-high heat. The tomatoes should yield their juices right away, but keep an eye on the pot to make sure the pan isn't dry. You don't want the tomatoes to scorch. When the tomatoes have broken down after about 10 minutes, pass them through a food mill. If you want the final sauce to be thicker, return it to the pot and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until it's as thick as you want it. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the oil.

Julia's notes: If you don't have a food mill, you can first blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or so then easily remove the peels (and seeds if you like.) I added the fresh basil right before I poured it into the bags. I eyeballed the amounts and didn't measure anything exactly, the sauce turned out great.

Deborah M.'s notes about freezing tomato sauce: Making sauce to freeze for the winter isn't a big production–or a time consuming one. When tomatoes are in season, I make the Fresh Tomato Sauce using 4 to 5 pounds tomatoes or whatever is convenient. When it's cool, I ladle it into plastic freezer bags in 1- or 2- cup portions and lay the bags on the freezer floor until they harden. This makes slim packages that are easy to store upright, taking little space. When you warm the sauce, you can season it with crushed garlic or an herb that goes with the dish you're making.


18 cups tomatoes, cut in chunks
3 teaspoons ginger
6 cups sugar
3 lemons (thinly sliced)

Cook tomatoes 45 minutes. Add sugar, lemon, and ginger. Cook until thick and smooth. Pour into sterilized jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Put on cap, screw band firmly tight. Process in Boiling Water Bath 10 minutes. Yield: 8 eight oz. jars.

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