Tomato Sauce to Freeze for Winter

marial1214(Z 6 PA)August 7, 2007

I wanted to make some red sauce that I could freeze for this winter. I am not yet into canning so I thought I would put some sauce into plastic containers and freeze them.

I cant find a recipe, I did a search here in the forums and alot of crap came up. I decided to try to concoct something on my own, please offer ideas if I'm forgetting any key ingredients. Here's my plan:

I will remove the skins from the romas and dice them up into a large pot with: garlic, oregano and maybe some chopped fresh basil & rosemary. I'll add some lemon juice, onion, salt & pepper.

I cant think of anything else. Can you?

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mawkhawk(Metro Detroit, MI/ Z6)

Throw some peppers and mushrooms in there....

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 2:13PM
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Hi your recipe sounds good. One thing I did last year that actually turned out well was to half the Roma's and place them on a baking sheet (with some bit of sides, salt and pepper them and bake at 325 or so for ~ 40 min.
This really intensifies the flavor of the tomato. From there, I keep the rendered juice, easily skin the tomatoes and then chop or blend as desired.

I usually add oregano, thyme and basil along with salt, pepper, sugar and a bit of heat via hot powder or chili peppers. Onion, bell pepper, mushroom meatballs and meatball mix added as ground meat are also good additions for me.

Meatballs consists of equal part ground beef, pork and lamb, egg bread crumbs and parmesan cheese to bind.

I usually cook the sauce just long enough to finish off the browned meatballs (45 min to 1 hr)

You can freeze in plastic container or I have frozen in the glass jars the that store sauce comes in. Just clean well and have saran over top of jar then screw down the lid

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 2:16PM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

Just make sure to leave at least 1/2" of space between the top of your sauce and the top of whatever container you are using to allow the sauce room to expand as it freezes.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 3:05PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

HereÂs a great recipe that I got from one of my neighbors:

Take ripe tomatoes and slice off the top edge (the stem side).

Place them in a 9x11" pan, cut side down with the edges touching.

In the space between the tomato "corners" put cloves of garlic, and fresh, chopped basil and oregano (you can also use dry herbs). Add ¾ cup of Olive Oil (although we use much less) and salt.

Bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool.

Remove the tomato skins by simply lifting them up by hand (the skins will slip right off and the tomato will remain in the pan.

Pour the mixture into a blender or bowl and use a hand held blender to puree everything.

Eat as soup, spaghetti sauce, or whatever! Or freeze for a great soup in January.

You can also do the same thing with frozen tomatoesÂ..just cut the tops off and freeze. Then take the frozen tomatoes out of the freezer and place in the pan and follow the above steps.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 3:31PM
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marial1214(Z 6 PA)

Ok for the green peppers. I am only choosing things from my garden and I dont grow mushrooms so I'll skip the shrooms.

Must I add water to my concoction or will the tomatoes make their own sauce? I realize this may be a silly question.

Ok for the fresh thyme, too. I often just throw things together without following a specific recipe....I went to the store and bought tall plastic containers (they're like jars). I hope I can fill 4.

I have about 50 roma tomatoes. I will harvest some more tomorrow then make the sauce. I am worried the ones I have so far will rot so I better make it soon...that's the tricky part: while you're waiting to harvest more toms to make the amount of sauce worth it, the ones you already picked could turn soft....or rot...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 3:37PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

I roast them in the oven the way Bart describes. Yummy!

Marial, sometimes I peel and freeze the tomatoes until I can get enought to cook up a sauce. I use plastic freezer bags and I keep adding to it.

I don't think you'll have to add water but then I don't use all paste tomatoes when I make a sauce.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 3:48PM
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Sometimes supplement the sauce with (gasp) canned tomato sauce (Contadina, store brand whatever) I also add in a can or two of tomato paste to thicken up the sauce. I don't add water

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 5:41PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

This may sound weird but a bit of leftover brewed (strong) coffee gives it a certain depth of flavor too. Also, don't forget Olive oil or even red wine.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 6:03PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

You can also preroast your veggies to caramelize them first. Peppers, onions, and garlic cloves. Again, a way to an even richer flavor. Caramelizing sweetens the onions naturally by releasing the natural sugars.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 6:06PM
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sunsi(z5 NY)

bart Quote:
"You can also do the same thing with frozen tomatoesÂ..just cut the tops off and freeze. Then take the frozen tomatoes out of the freezer and place in the pan and follow the above steps."

That's what I'm planning on doing and I understand that the skins slip right off as the tomatoes defrost. I read some where that adding spices and then freezing the sauce will intensify the spices so I'd rather add it when I cook. I really like your idea of roasting the tomatoes first though bart sounds absolutely yummy, thanks! :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 6:10PM
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My sis takes a baggie and lines her containers wiht the baggie and then puts in the sauce. She closes the baggie with a twist tie and then puts the container in the freezer, A day later she knocks out the frozen baggie of sauce and gets her container back to use for something else.

My husband likes my sauce better when I add a pinch of sugar or a tsp of honey, it's not very noticeable--you don't taste sweetness--but seems to mallow the acidity a bit.

When my Mom made sauce she stirred a bit of grated parmesan into it right after she took the pan off the fire. She thought the lactose in the cheese acted like a sugar and helped cut the acidity too. Her sauce was awesome...she would brown a pound of ground chuck and then dump the chuck into a strainer and rinse it to take out the extra fat, then she added it to the sauce.

There's as many ways to make sauce as there are cooks, you'll tweak your recipes and come up with something that you love! When I make sauce it never comes out the same way twice, but it always is yum. Yours will be too!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 6:23PM
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I keep it simple!!! par boil the romas for a couple minutes--the skin slides off--chop them up--then into gallon zip locks and into the freezer. Then do the adding of herbs and stuff when they are used !! that way you have fresh sauce!! Got 12 gallons in the freezer now. can't beat IT.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 8:13PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

An old trick is grated carrot to make it sweeter...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 10:54PM
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I run my tomatoes through the juicer attachment to my Kitchen Aid

Then cook down until thick.

Then freeze.

Anything else I want to use in the basic sauce gets added later.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 12:05AM
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marial1214(Z 6 PA)

Nice tips so far, keep em coming. I like the idea of just removing the skins then freezing the toms, then adding the ingredients when you thaw them.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 11:47AM
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Better to freeze whole and then remove the skins as they thaw real easy. the outside skin thaws first. skin comes right off while still frozen. The big advantage is that the skin protects the tom from freezer burn.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 5:51PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

We just wash the tomatoes, dry off. Put on cookie sheet, freeze. They won't stick together. Once frozen, put in zip lock put back in freezer until needed. You can do this while waiting for others to ripen, so it's not an all day thing.

When making the sauce, just dump the bag into pot, turn up the heat, no water needed. In fact, you may need paste. Season they way you like. The skins all cook down, you can hardly tell.

No cutting, no canning, & cook only once.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 8:38PM
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It seems to me to make sense to remove the seeds before processing to keep the end result more thick. I dont see the sense of adding the wet seeds and then boiling it away.

this also provides an opportunity to ferment some tomato seeds for next year.

If you do not want to boil for hours to thicken the sauce you can add a little commercial tomato paste to thicken your sauce.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:48PM
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aren't the seeds full of nutrients?
1 tom would give me enuff seeds for many many years

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 12:29AM
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sunsi(z5 NY)

Yeah, the seeds have all the cancer fighting stuff in them when I read that I thought of all the recipes that called for removing the seeds why..... because some cooks feels it looks better no other reason (hoity-toity). Some of the best tasting food looks like a mac truck hit it anyway, lol

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 1:04AM
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Here is the recipe I've been using for years.

1/2 C olive oil
4 medium onions diced
16 lbs tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 12 oz cans tomato paste
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c chopped parsley
2 tbs oregano leaves
2 tbs salt
2 tsp basil
3/4 tsp cracked pepper
2 bay leaves
parmesan cheese

Cook onions and garlic in oil until tender, add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cook partially covered for 2 hours.

I use fresh herbs from the garden and don't pay much attention to the quantity. So I probably put in more than the recipe calls for.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 7:22AM
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I just followed bart1's recipe for roasting the tomatoes. It's outstanding! The garlic and basil permeate the toms while roasting - and most of the excess water stays in the roasting pan. I put the first quart in the fridge and I'll make some great pasta on Labor Day. For the next batch, I'll follow the suggestion of putting the puree in freezer bags in a plastic container. Great idea.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 2:56PM
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I made Bart's Roasted Tomato recipe tonight, oh man is that good!

I haven't pureed them yet but I did lift several onto a plate with a slotted spoon and mashed them and the garlic and herbs with my fork. Then used some warm crusty bread for dredging through the toms.

Slurp. Slurp. Slurp!

Thank you Bart for sharing this awesome recipe.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 6:54PM
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