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Shahin Family Traditions: Tomato Sauce Day

Tomato Sauce Day is our annual tradition and it’s been like this for almost a decade, despite our non-Italian roots. As a cook and self-declared foodie, I’m always excited when we get to that time of the year when tomatoes are ripe because I know that soon enough we’ll be making our delicious homemade sauce.

All in all, Tomato Sauce Day is a family day, and it always happens when we’re all free, including my sister-in-law, who was kind of sworn into this. Last year we even waited for her to return from her overseas trip, but she wasn’t impressed by this. 

When it comes to making tomato sauce, everyone has a unique way to do it. However, there’s one thing we all have in common, and that is the great sense of pride we get while making it.

coring a tomato

The first rule of making fresh tomato sauce in our home is to do it in summer when tomatoes are at their absolute best and absolute cheapest.

We usually use vine-ripened Roma tomatoes. I think the quality of those is essential for making the best sauce as the seasoning, in our case,  is nothing else but salt.

I always loved the taste of homemade tomato sauce, it’s sweet and absolutely delicious. Not to mention, it’s an amazing base for many recipes. Just by adding olive oil and fresh herbs to your sauce, you’ll greatly enrich its taste and get it ready for your pasta, lasagna or whatever you’re cooking for dinner. 

I’ll tell you more about what easy recipes you can prepare with your tomato sauce later, but right now let me share with you how we make the best tomato sauce every time.

How to make homemade tomato sauce from scratch

filling a bottle with tomato sauce

First, we begin by setting up the work stations. If we’re well-organized before we actually start making the sauce, the whole process turns out way smoother and quicker. 

We also ensure our sauce bottles are clean before beginning. We reuse the bottles each year, but we’ll usually get new lids.

Without further ado, here are 9 easy steps you need to follow to make basic homemade tomato sauce from scratch:

1. Wash the tomatoes and remove any bad bits, then pile them in crates.

2. Half fill a large aluminium pot with water and heat over a gas burner until it boils. Blanch the tomatoes in batches until they’re soft enough and the skins start to peel. Gently scoop the tomatoes out with the strainer and place them on drain tubs.

3. Place a large clean bucket under the spout of the tomato machine where the juice will extract and another small bucket under the spout where the skin will be removed. Gently put the blanched tomatoes through the machine.

4. Season the sauce with salt, stirring until it dissolves.

5. Fill the bottles leaving a 2 cm gap at the top and then seal each bottle with a lid.

tomato sauce bottles lined up

6. Get ready to preserve the sauce. Place the drum over the gas burner. Put a thick towel in the base of your drum, and layer all the bottles. Use a few old towels between the bottles to prevent them from breaking. Fill the drum with cold water and bring it to a boil.

7. Boil the bottles for about an hour and then turn off the burner.

8. Leave the bottles in the drum to cool overnight.

9. Remove the bottles carefully and store them in a cool, dry and dark place until ready to cook.

What to cook with fresh tomato sauce

tomato noodle soup served in a white bowl

How about a warming bowl of tomato noodle soup? It will take you less than half an hour to make this, and it’s the perfect meal both for adults and children.

If you’re rather craving some pasta, you must try these spaghetti with beef tomato sauce. Whenever we have pasta night in our home, this recipe is our number one pick.

string bean stew

Finally, here’s a nutritious one-pot meal you can make with what you already have in your pantry. This comforting string bean stew can be served with vermicelli rice pilaf or with mashed potatoes.

Enjoy!

 

With Love  

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Creating magic and happy memories with food are my gift for you!
xx Rouba

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