Trellis Youth Awesome Sauce

Learning to preserve the harvest from your summer garden can yield numerous benefits. This recipe can provide a delicious taste of summer all through the winter months. It’s also an excellent way to enrich your diet with nutrient dense, local foods! 

We love eating our garden produce into the next year, as it always reminds us of the excitement of the summer gardening season. The recipe below is a fantastic way to preserve your tomato harvests, but there are many ways of preserving all types of garden crops, like pickling, fermenting, drying, freezing and more! 

If you love this recipe and want to try more, keep an eye out for our fall fundraiser! We will have a set of 6 recipe cards as well as a handy dandy conversion chart available as part of the fundraiser. These cards have been decorated by our youth participants and the recipes have been created by Trellis staff. We love these recipes, and we would love to help you make the most of your garden produce. All proceeds from this donation will go directly to our efforts to make meaningful change in our food system, and to help our communities grow in new ways. Below you will find an example of the recipe cards.

NOTE: this recipe was carefully crafted by a skilled gardener and chef. It is one of the only tomato sauce recipes we have ever seen that has been approved for home canning, which is often discouraged due to risks associated with botulism. This recipe has been tested and approved, and we can vouch for its excellence. However, we would encourage you to follow the steps and the ratios detailed as closely as possible to ensure a quality product. 

  • 12 pounds tomatoes, a variety of paste, heirloom, etc. 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canning salt
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes-optional, but we love it
  • Citric acid or bottled lemon juice amounts per specific jar size below.

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
2. Divide ingredients in half to work in two batches. Divide olive oil, balsamic, onions, garlic, and dry seasonings between 2 or 3 roasting pans (what you have that will fit in your oven).
3. Wash tomatoes, remove cores and blossom ends, cut in half and squeeze gently to remove some of the seeds.
4. Place tomatoes cut side down, on top of ingredients in prepared pans. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning once, until most of the tomato skins are puffed and browned. Remove from oven and pluck the skins off with tongs (It’s okay not to get ever little bit)
5. Scrape roasted tomatoes and roasting liquid into a large stock pot, set aside and repeat the prep and roasting with any remaining ingredients. When all tomatoes are roasted and in the stock pot, proceed to the next step.
6. Using an immersion or regular blender, blend roasted ingredients until smooth.
7. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat; lower heat and simmer until it reaches desired consistency and flavor, 45 min-1hr.
8. Prepare a water-bath canner, jars and lids.
9. Adding ¼ teaspoon citric acid to pint jars, (½ teaspoon to quart jars) OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice to pint jars (2 tablespoons for quart jars)
10. Ladle the hot tomato sauce into warmed jars, one at a time with 1/2inch of head space in the jar. Wipe rims, attach lids, and place in a canner rack. Process in the water bath canner at 35 minutes for pint jars, and 40 minutes for quarts. (if processing both together, use the longer process time)

Note: Start the processing time after canner comes to a full boil and then adjust heat to keep a low boil for the timed amount. Turn off the burner, remove lid of canner and set timer for 5 minutes to let jars rest in the water bath. Transfer jars from a canner to a towel lined surface and let cool 24 hours. Check the seals, label and store cans for up to a year.