I’ve been making homemade spaghetti sauce yearly with the tomatoes that I have been getting from Emily Rae’s tomato patch, but this year I decided to change my recipe up a bit (for this batch only). As much as I love red pepper flakes in my sauce, the kids don’t. At all. If you missed making the trip to Ashburn, Georgia to get the best tomatoes in the world (I have to say that because truthfully they are and also because little Emily is my niece, lol) then you are out of luck for now because it’s closed while they wait for the next round of tomatoes to ripen. Be sure to click on the above link to add them on Facebook so you’ll know when they are opening the patch back up in the next go-round.
I got my homemade spaghetti recipe out of the taste of home canning & preserves magazine, 2012. It’s been a hit since (with us big kids, again, the kids don’t like the zip the red pepper flakes creates but all that means is that I have to make two batches instead of one). I don’t know if you can still purchase this canning and preserving edition (maybe on eBay or somewhere?) but if you can find it, buy it. I’ve made so many of the recipes in this edition from candy apple jelly to pepper jelly. I tried to find it on shoptasteofhome.com but no luck. Mine is getting worn and I need a new copy so if you see one for sale anywhere, PLEASE let me know.
The recipe is pretty simple to follow. I’m going to give you the ingredient list straight from the magazine and let you decide if you want to add the red pepper flakes. Save this recipe in case you can’t find the magazine :(.
1. It takes 25 pounds of tomatoes which equals 1 box at Emily Rae’s tomato patch (about 16 large tomatoes if you have to buy them at the farmer’s market).
2. You will need 4 large green peppers seeded. I also got my peppers from Emily Rae’s tomato patch so I used half and half. The color really doesn’t matter. I’ve used just about every color of bell peppers there are.
3. The recipe calls for 4 large onions but this time I used 3 (because that’s all I had on hand). It did not change the flavor.
4. 4 6 oz cans of tomato paste (or 2 12 oz cans), whatever works for you and you have on hand.
5. 1 cup Canola Oil (I use Olive Oil, it’s just a preference).
6. 2/3 cups of sugar. The first time I made this sauce, I thought sugar was a strange ingredient to add but you’ll see how well everything blends in to create the best ever homemade spaghetti sauce.
7. 1/4 cup of salt. I used canning salt last year but this year I used iodized because it’s all I had on hand. Can you tell I don’t like to shop on the weekend when everyone else is running into the back of my heels in their mad hurry to get back home?
8. 8 garlic cloves (peel, peel, peel).
9. 4 teaspoons dried oregano. Last year I used all fresh herbs but this year due to moving (and in case I haven’t already said this a thousand times before, I am truly enjoying living in this little town, I wasn’t happy being alone all day, living in the middle of nowhere), I was late planting and my basil is the only herb I had luck growing.
10. 2 teaspoons of each of the following: parsley, basil, crushed red pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
11. 2 bay leaves (I use them in so many of my dishes).
12. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice. You can either squeeze your own juice or do as I do and buy bottled.
Go ahead and gather all of your ingredients while I take a coffee break.
Alyssa was sweet enough to wash mine for me. <3 the kids love to get in the kitchen with me.
Add your garlic, bell peppers, and onions to your food processor. A food processor is one of those products that no kitchen should be without. If you don’t have one, make the investment and you won’t be disappointed. Let me just give you a suggestion. I chop my garlic first then add each of the other ingredients, one at a time. There’s no reasoning behind this, it’s just the way I do it.
Now, be prepared for the most amazing smell in the world. Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the lemon juice, and simmer uncovered for 4 to 5 hours. STIR OFTEN.
5 hours later…
Go ahead and get your canning jars and lids ready. I wash mine in super hot water right before adding the sauce to them. Boil the flats.
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each of the jars and ladle your sauce on top leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Process in a boiling water canner for 40 minutes.
That’s it. I want to note that it takes me 2 days to make this sauce because of my back injuries. Standing for long periods of time is just too painful.
If you try this recipe, please let me know how well your family loves it (and they will) & or what adjustments you made to suit your family.