I really enjoyed the video of an Italian American grandfather making tomato sauce from scratch – “Traditional Homemade Tomato Sauce made by Pasquale Sciarappa”. Here’s the video, if you watch it and decide to try to make it his way, here’s my best interpretation of his instructions.
Let tomatoes rest 2 – 3 days after picking.
Wash Roma or San Marzano tomatoes well.
Cut off bad spots and the crown, as well as any internal ‘yellow’ spots, which are part of the crown/stem.
Cut in half, squeeze out seeds and liquidy-stuff in the interior of the tomato
Put in pot, cook over medium heat (??? just guessing) for about 45 minutes, then use very slotted spoon to pull solid tomato parts out of the pot – discard the liquid left behind??
Scoop tomato solids (??pulp) into strainer, let drain for a couple minutes
Run tomato solids (pulp) through a vegetable strainer machine that will quickly separate the skins and seeds from the rest of the tomatoes.
Compost the seeds/skins, or otherwise dispose of them.
Pour the tomato pulp from the straining process back into the pan on the fire and cook down for 3 to 4 hours, depending on how thick a sauce you prefer. Cooking longer yields a thicker sauce. A wood fire is used to do the cooking in this video, so I can’t quite say at what temperature the sauce mixture should be cooked, but it’s not boiling. Lots of steam is coming off the pot, so it’s more than a very low heat, so maybe a low simmer?
After 3 hours of cooking down the sauce, add salt to taste, stir.
After 4 hours, ladle hot sauce into clean jars. Probably a good idea to use a funnel, keep the top rims of the jars clean, fill to about an inch from the top. Put about 2 fresh basil leaves per jar, push the leaves down into the jar of sauce with a spoon.
Place canning lids onto jars after checking to verify that the tops rims of the canning jars are completely clean. Screw canning jar bands somewhat loosely onto jars.
Let the jars sit for an hour?? I can’t quite tell, but I think he lets the jars sit for an hour before he screws the canning jar bands tightly onto the jars. But maybe not, because he wants these to continue to ‘cook’ under a blanket in the next step.
Place the filled jars close together into a short-sided cardboard box and cover tightly with a very warm blanket, covering the top, sides and bottom of the box, let sit for 3 full days. Or maybe he said 3 or 4 days? I’m not quite sure.
He doesn’t do any water bath boiling of the jars, which is pretty forbidden in the official Bar Jar Canning manual. Hasn’t killed him yet, and he says he’s been doing it since 1939.
2 thoughts on ““I really Should Have Paid More Attention To My Italian Grandmother”, Or “Making Tomato Sauce From Scratch Guided By Somebody Else’s Grandfather On Youtube””
But, you did get a nice tomato sauce for one meal. A lot of work for that huh? Reminds me of the time my sister told me it was actually possible to freeze tomatoes. I was so excited. BUT when I took them out of the freezer to use them, they were no longer whole tomatoes but rather some sort of broken down mostly water form. Did use them for sauce that night, but great disappointment.
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