How To: Canning Tomatoes For Homemade Tomato Sauce
  • Ball Mason Jars (12x1L size)
  • Bands with dome lids
  • Extra large pot for boiling jars (buy the largest pot you can find; the ones available at seem small, so shop around in your area and see if you can find pots that hold between 8-12 jars at a time, as it will make the process go a lot quicker)
  • Electric Tomato Crusher
  • Cast Iron Stove Burner
  • Mason Jar handler (this is used to lift the boiling jar out of hot water)
  • 3-4 sharp knives for cutting plum tomatoes
  • 2-3 extra large stainless steal bowls
  • 2-3 extra large ladles
  • Lots of clean dish towels and old clothing (you'll want to wear old clothing during the entire process)
  • Plum tomatoes are ideal for making tomato sauce; my family usually purchases about 6 bushels from any one of the local fruit and vegetable markets in our area.
  • 2-3 fresh basel leaves are needed for each mason jar, so you'll want to have 8-10 bunches of basel available (grow your own beginning in the Spring so you don't have to buy it!)
  1. Start by washing all of the plum tomatoes and laying them out on some cardboard covered by an old table cloth or two (clean of course)
  2. You'll next need to core all of the tomatoes and cut into four small pieces. This is where a large group will come in handy; you should be able to get through six bushels of tomatoes in about two hours with four people cutting and coring.
  3. Take the cored and chopped tomato pieces and cook in an extra large pot for 30 minutes (remember you're cooking the tomatoes without any other ingredient)
  4. Move the cooked pieces from the pot to your tomato crushing machine. This step is probably the messiest, requiring that you clean the machine's filter every 15 minutes or so (the filter should catch the seeds and most of the tomato skin). You'll need several extra large bowls to catch the crushed tomatoes coming out of the machine.
  5. Next, you'll want to have your sterile mason jars lined up and ready to be filled with both crushed tomatoes and 2 basel leaves per jar. Use the extra large ladles to fill the jars and try to be as neat as possible.
  6. After you've filled the jar, you'll want to place a NEW lid and a ring top on each jar. You can re-use the metal ring tops, but the metal/plastic lids need to be new in order for a proper seal to take place.
  7. Tighten the lids and rings as securely as possible.
  8. Fill your extra large pot with water and set on the cast iron stove burner and bring water to a boil
  9. Place between 8-10 mason jars into the boiling water bath for approximately 45 minutes. You can manually drop the jars into the water with a jar handler but use caution.
  10. Remove the jars from with boiling water using the jar handler and several dish towels (here you will need two people, one who will remove and another who will grab the jar)
  11. After the jars have cooled make sure to check a few of them to see if the lids have formed a tight seal (you can do this by unscrewing the ring or band).
  12. You'll want to store the jars in a cool dry place. You can label the jars with the date, if you wish. Stay tuned for a tomato sauce recipe! Note the above process will yield about 125 12 X 1L size jars (so it's best to can with 2-3 families).
Yield 125 12 X 1L size jars. Notes Note and Disclaimer (viz a viz Clostridium Botulinum) It’s vital when you cure vegetables in olive oil that you thoroughly clean the jar itself as well as all the ingredients and utensils used in the preparation. My family has been curing and pickling vegetables (as well as tomatoes for tomato sauce) for well over 50 years and we haven’t had any health issues. Although our family has been doing this for many years without incident, there aren’t good studies establishing this practice as safe. Many food safety authorities advise against preserving tomatoes and garlic in oil due the risk of bacterial contamination and proliferation of spores, especially clostridium botulinum, which could be fatal.
Recipe by - Italian Food Recipes and Lifestyle at