Tis the season to stand at the kitchen sink for hours on end, with a really sappy Jane Austin movie, and can everything in sight. (It is best to have the 5 hour copy of Pride and Prejudice to keep you occupied for the day.) I love hovering around those colorful little quart jars as they come out of the hot water bath. I wait anxiously for the happy little popping sound. That pop means all my work is not in vain. The jar is sealed and can now rest peacefully in my storage room in perfect little rows of color. I know this may be silly, but I must confess, I take pictures of the pretty little jars. I have a friend that once confided she did the same. We are kindred spirits till the bitter end now. My favorite picture is when I do a batch of pickled beets and they are standing on the counter next to a row of perfect bottled peaches. Yeah!! The color contrast, the beautiful preserved fruit and veggies. I love the satisfaction that canning your own produce brings. Thanks to my mother dearest who taught me how to preserve my garden goodies. It has become an Aug. and Sept. ritual at my house. (As well as watching Pride and Prejudice from beginning to end for a couple of days straight. I get a years worth of Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennett all in one week.)
Today's task at hand was Homemade Marinara Sauce. This is a recipe that I received from my little friend Jill, and it is a keeper. I love having the fresh sauce on hand for spaghetti, and lasagna, but it is also really a great pizza sauce. My favorite preparation is to fry up a pound of hamburger and then pour in the sauce and 1 c. of cream. It makes a lovely pink sauce, that is a bit more mild than just a regular red sauce. Try it next time. I love this recipe because it makes between 15-18 quarts of Marinara Sauce. I've made it at different times of the year too. I have found it is just as good with #10 cans of crushed or diced tomatoes, dried onions, and dried green peppers. It is a great way to use up some of your food storage. I'll list the recipe using fresh ingredients as well as dried. Both ways are delicious, but I must say that you have to use fresh basil at all costs. It is just the way it is.
Jill's Fresh Marinara Sauce
1/2 bushel tomatoes peeled and chopped (or 3 #10 cans of chopped tomatoes)
7-8 chopped onions (or 1 1/2 c. dried minced onions)
6-7 green peppers chopped (or 1 c. dried green peppers)
12- 6 oz cans of tomato paste
5 T. oregano
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh basil (or 4 T. dried, but it isn't anywhere near as good this way)
3/4 c. oil
4 pkg. dry spaghetti mix
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. salt
6 c. water
Simmer for 1 hour stirring a lot so as not to burn the bottom. Place in clean sterilized quart jars and place in a hot water bath for 40 mins. for quart jars. Make sure the lids seal and then store in a dry place.