I have always made my own spaghetti sauce. Prior to buying a pressure canner, I froze it. But for me like many people, freezer space is at a premium, so I try to can as much as I am able.
This is not one of those quick tomato sauces. I like a low and slow spaghetti sauce. I usually start it in the morning, around 10:00, and it will cook all day for our dinner.
After dinner, I refrigerate the leftovers, and pressure can the following day.
- 16 cups tomato puree or sauce
- 2 lbs. spicy italian sausage, bulk
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, grated
- 3 Tbsp. dried basil
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. dried marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- salt, black pepper & red chile flakes, to taste
Heat up the tomato puree in a large stockpot.
In a large saute pan, brown the italian sausage. Leaving any fat in the pan, transfer the browned sausage to the stock pot with the puree.
Sweat the onion and bell peppers in the saute pan with the fat. The purpose of sweating is to cook the onions and peppers until soft without much browning. If they are still firm when added to the puree, they will still be crunchy in the finished sauce. I usually start them over medium heat, and reduce the temperature to low, throughout the cooking time. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Then add the peppers and onions to the stockpot, with the additional ingredients. There is no need to sweat the garlic, it will cook sufficiently in the sauce. I generally add some salt, pepper and chile flakes at this time, and will continue to taste and add, as needed, throughout the cooking times.
The next day, I pressure can what’s left. I usually end up with 6 – 1 1/2 pint jars. I use this size jar because it’s the amount of sauce my family uses for 1 lb. of pasta. My mother likes a lot more, as may you. I use the processing time for a quart jar, because the time for a 1 1/2 pint jar is not available. So, 10 lbs. for 1 hour 15 minutes.