Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms

I told you I would be making pasta sauce. I decided to pressure can the sauce, so I wouldn't have to add extra acid to it.  If you BWB the sauce, you have to follow a specific recipe to get the acid proportions correct and usually you still have to add citric acid or purchased lemon juice.  I like to wing it, no recipe, just taste.
I began by dropping tomatoes into boiling water for 60 seconds.  That was followed by a short dip in ice water.  This makes the skins easy to remove.  I also cleaned some onions from the garden, chopped them and started to caramelize them with olive oil.  (Picture on the right).  I added chopped garlic toward the end.  Again, no measurements, I was just going with it.  I placed the tomatoes in a pan and simmered them for 20 minutes.  The photo on the left shows the tomatoes going through a food mill once they were cooked. The food mill gives you a nice clean tomato sauce or juice, no seeds no cores.  Next comes the fun part.  Reducing and
adding your favorite spices.  I decided just to use what I had around the house and not purchase anything else. I used home grown onions frozen garlic and canned mushrooms.  I added a can of chicken broth for flavor and salt content, parsley, Italian Seasoning and a bit of brown sugar.  You can put pretty much whatever you want to at this point.  I also added a touch of Chili Oil, just to give it a bit of kick.  You want to simmer everything together to marry the flavors and reduce the sauce to a thicker consistency.  I also added some red and yellow bell peppers without sauteing them.  They will cook enough in the pressure canner.  I start tasting at this point.  Sometimes more salt, some pepper, whatever you want.

When the sauce was the consistency I wanted and the flavor was right, I pressure canned 2 pints and (5) 1/2 pints.  I had about a 1/2 left in the pan and that was enough for DH and me to have for dinner. 

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