Tag Archives | tomato sauce

Summer Vegetable Braise with Roasted Garlic Roma Tomato Sauce

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Yesterday, I showed you how to make the Roasted Garlic Roma Tomato Sauce from Ball® Fresh Preserving Products. This thick, flavorful sauce is a winner, because it’s both easy to make (the roasting/grilling step makes the tomatoes so easy to peel) and because it’s so versatile once in the jar.

It could easily replace the jars of store bought sauce we all keep around for nights when we can’t manage much, but it also can be used as a component in a longer cooking dish as well. That’s what I’ve done here. I’ve taken this tasty sauce and have combined it with some of the summer veg that’s so abundant right now. The result? A hearty, meatless braise that is simple to make but nice enough to serve to company.

You start the way so many of these things start. But warming a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a roomy pot and adding a chopping onion. Once that onion begins to color, you add a cubed eggplant (no need to salt or drain) and stir it well into the onions, so that it will also start to brown a bit. Then you add the zucchini and a couple crushed garlic cloves and work them in.

Once all the veg has had a chance to brown and soften a little, you add a quart of the Roasted Garlic Roma Tomato Sauce. Pour a cup of water into the jar and swirl it around well (so as not to leave behind even a bit of that flavor) and pour it into the pot as well. Give everything a good stir, reduce the heat to medium-low so that you maintain a very slow, lazy simmer, put a lid on the pot, and cook for about an hour. You want to stir occasionally to ensure that the bottom of the pot doesn’t burn, but otherwise it’s very hands off.

When the hour is up, remove the lid from the pot, turn the heat up to medium, and simmer a little more vigorously to cook off any water the braising process brought to the surface of the stew. Once it is as thick as you’d like it, taste to ensure that the seasoning levels are good. Finally, you are ready to serve.

I like to ladle this braise over a puddle of freshly cooked polenta (simmer 1 part coarse cornmeal with 4 parts salted water, until creamy and quite thick). If I don’t have the time to cook polenta, I’ll toss it with cooked penne or gemelli. Topped with a pinch of grated parmesan cheese, it makes a lovely late summer meal.

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Roasted Garlic Roma Tomato Sauce from Ball® Fresh Preserving Products

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

So far this summer, I’ve written three pairs of posts in partnership with my friends at Ball®Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands. In May, it was all about their Mixed Berry Jam and the Jammy Baked Oatmeal I made with it. In June, we focused in on Honey Cinnamon Pears and the Honey Cinnamon Pear Sorbet I turned them into. Last month, the starter recipe was Kosher Dill Pickle Spears (so crisp and tangy!) and the transformation was a batch of Pasta and Kosher Dill Pickle Salad.

This month, we’re talking tomatoes. In my area, they are finally starting to show up at farmers markets with heady abundance. I am buying them 10 or 25 pounds at a time in order to put up enough various tomato products to get me through the year (my goal is to do enough tomato puree, whole peeled, and salsa to get me through to next August).

I am also going to make room for several more batches of this Roasted Garlic Roma Tomato Sauce from Ball® Fresh Preserving Products because it is super flavorful. This recipe uses a peeling technique that I’d heard about but never tried before. Instead of blanching the tomatoes in a large pot of water, you broil them (I cut mine in half prior to broiling so that I didn’t have to turn them)! It worked so well. The recipe says you can also do it on the grill, which would be a great way to keep all that heat out of the house.

Once the tomatoes are peeled, you squeeze out the seeds, chop them roughly and heap them in a pot (the tomatoes you see pictured above were just the peeled halves. I seeded and chopped after this).

Once the tomatoes are prepped, you add some chopped onion, three heads of roasted garlic, fresh basil and oregano, and a little salt. Heat to a low simmer and cook until thoroughly warmed through (I confess, I reduced mine a little as the tomatoes put off a good bit of water).

While the sauce heats, prepare a boiling water bath canner and three quart jars.

Once you judge that the sauce is done, remove one jar from the canner. Add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (you could also use 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice if you prefer), and funnel in some of the sauce, filling to 1/2 inch headspace. Stir with a wooden or plastic chopstick to remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the rim, apply a lid and ring, and place the jar back in the canner. Repeat with the remaining jars and sauce.

These jars are processed for 40 minutes at a full rolling boil (remember, if you live at elevation, you need to adjust your processing time accordingly). When the time is up, remove the lid, turn off the heat, and let the jars cool slowly in the canner. Once that time is up, remove the jars from the canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel. Once the jars are entirely cool, check them to ensure that the jars have sealed fully and completely.

This sauce is a great pantry builder, because it can be heated and served over pasta, polenta, or sauteed greens. I like to use it in combination with zucchini and eggplant, for a tasty summer vegetable braise. Check back for that recipe tomorrow!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Newell Brands as part of a compensated partnership. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

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Five Ways to Preserve Large Tomatoes


Two years ago, in the final weeks before my wedding, I bought and preserved 50 pounds of tomatoes. Last summer, I upped the ante and brought home 100 pounds. This year, though I was sorely tempted to push ever upwards, I kept myself to another 100 pounds.

I realize that tomato season is coming to a close, but I thought it would be nice to round up my favorite ways to preserve big tomatoes (here are the ways that I do small tomatoes)

jar of tomatoes

Slow roasted and frozen. These tomatoes are amazing and do wonders to lift my spirits during those cold, dark months, when it doesn’t seem at all possible that fresh tomatoes will ever return.

I did 20 pounds like this a few weeks back. Instead of packing them in jars for freezing (like those pictured above), I froze them on the same cookie sheets on which they were roasted and then packed them into freezer bags. Makes it easier to grab one or two and drop them into dinner.

full jar

Whole peeled tomatoes are the backbone of my autumn and winter cooking. I use them in soups, stews, sauces, casseroles and even whir them into batches of smooth salsa. They come together fairly easily and are so incredibly useful to have in the pantry. If you do nothing else, put up a few jars of whole peeled tomatoes.

one jar of pickled red tomatoes

While you’re peeling those tomatoes for canning, set a few aside and make these pickled red tomatoes. I layer them into toasted cheese sandwiches and serve them with strong cheeses. They are unexpectedly delicious and just fun to have in your pantry for those moments when lunch or dinner needs a little extra zing.

Mrs. Wages pasta sauce

I don’t make tomato sauce every year but when I can squeeze it into the schedule, I’m never sad to have made it. Earlier this month, I stirred up five pints with the last of my 100 pound. And I cheated a bit by using this packet of Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce mix. Do I feel bad about that? Not at all! If you don’t have a spice pack laying around, I’ve also made the tomato sauce from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I most happily recommend it.

tomato butter

Tomato butter. I’ve become awfully fond of this butter that I made last summer for the Can Jam. I like to combine it with whatever leftover runny jam I have in the fridge and braise fatty hunks of meat in it. I just can’t get over how good it is.

There you have it. Five of my favorite ways to preserve large tomatoes. What’s your favorite method?

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