I have just returned from my cruise to Sydney, which was supposed to be the Whitsundays but was changed due to the cyclone. We had a wonderful time and I will post about it this week. Today I just want to catch up on some posts which I have promised...but never delivered. How very slack of me! :)
During my holidays I made pasta sauce using my Fowler's vacola (not necessary to use one, but it is a new toy so I got to use it again). I adapted a recipe from Green Living Australia which came with the replacement lids I ordered. I waited to finish this post as I wanted to use the sauce to make a bolognese first and make sure it was really good...and it is! This recipe made seven jars of sauce for around $2 per jar - with no preservatives or colours. Perfect!
5 medium onions
4 medium capsicum
1 tbs basil
1 tbs salt
1 tbs Oregano
4 tbs sugar
5 cloves of crushed garlic
Chop the tomatoes, onions and capsicums and place in a large stockpot. Bring to the boil (the mixture has no liquid added but creates its own as the tomatoes cook), stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low to medium and simmer. Add the salt, basil and oregano. Add the sugar one-tablespoon at a time, stirring between each addition and leaving 15 minutes before adding the next tablespoon. Taste in between additions as the level of sugar required varies due to the sweetness of your tomatoes.
Continue cooking the sauce for two and a half to three hours. The sauce will reduce as the excess liquid cooks off and the sauce will become thicker in consistency. I then filled my sterilised (and still hot) jars with the sauce, and added a teaspoon of lemon juice before sealing and placing them into the vacola. Some tomatoes are less acidic than others so the lemon is required. Usually the vacola is filled with cold water but as I did not want to crack the bottles I added warm water and processed for 30 minutes, removing the bottles just before the water boiled. The instructions from Green Living Australia state to process in a water bath for 20 minutes so I figure I followed this pretty closely.
I would also think that you could make the sauce without using a water bath as both the liquid and the jars are hot before sealing and create a vacuum, however, I believe I will have a longer shelf life by using the vacola. I would love to hear any feedback on this if you know?
This is my finished result, using my old pasta sauce jars which I have been collecting for months and my new lids.
Do you make your own pasta sauce?