Tomato sauce (sans BPA)

After all the recent press on BPA, and my discovery that you can’t get canned tomatoes without the BPA, I became more convinced that I needed to put up the tomatoes I have in the garden to last through the winter. One way to do this is to dry them, which we did with a few, and another way is to peel them and remove the seeds and freeze them in bags or can them. I did a little bit of each of those. But if I make a big batch of sauce now, and then freeze the sauce, it will take less room in the freezer than all those frozen tomatoes. I also am able to use any fresh herbs or other vegetables that are in season now. And the best thing is, I can pull out a jar in the winter, and dinner is half fixed. I usually just add some turkey or chicken sausage, maybe some winter vegetables or some beans, pour it over pasta and I am good to go.

This particular recipe uses up a LOT of tomatoes, and the sauce is almost thick like tomato paste. You can thin it down, or even add it to soups, to give some great tomato flavor in the winter. It also makes a great pizza sauce. I have the recipe for the roasted red tomato sauce posted on my pages, but we also had a bumper crop of golden tomatoes.  I figured “use what you have” so I thought I would give them a try.  We planted too many golden tomatoes this year but they are beauties. The color goes from gold on the top almost to red at the bottom. They are called “Hillbilly Potato Leaf” and they look like this:

The specifics of this recipe are on the roasted tomato sauce recipe page but I made a few modifications due to the “use what you have” philosophy. I had golden bell peppers, and I thought those would be a nice addition to a roasted golden tomato sauce so I  removed the stem and seeds, cut them in large rough pieces and put them in the roasting pan with the olive oil, onions and peeled tomatoes. I used about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 15-20 tomatoes peeled, seeded and broken into chunks, 2 red onions, 3 golden peppers, 4 whole peeled cloves of garlic, and a few springs of thyme. I skipped the oregano for this batch, because I am not sure at this time how I am going to use it and oregano is an assertive “Italian” flavor. As usual these amounts are rough…Just don’t overdo the herbs. If you like garlic you could go heavier on that.

All these big chunks of tomatoes, onions and whole cloves of garlic, along with the stalks of herbs, were thrown into the big roasting pan. I cooked them at 425 degrees, and after about 15 minutes I opened the oven and gave it a stir. I continued to do this until all the liquid had evaporated, and the tomatoes were starting to turn lightly brown. This took over an hour.I removed the big stalks of herbs, then put it into a bowl and pureed it with a hand blender. Then I put it into jars and tucked it away for the winter. I was surprised how sweet it was, absolutely delicious. I think it will be great with a chicken apple sausage or turkey breakfast sausage over wheat pasta for a hearty winter dish.

By the way, if you do not grow your own tomatoes, you can often get “ugly” tomatoes for a deal at your farmer’s market or at a local farm. They will work well for sauce. The Sacramento Farmer’s Market had big bags of tomatoes for 3 dollars during the last hour of the market this Sunday. The growers just throw everything into the bags and put a cheap price on them to sell them before they close. Here are big bags of peaches and grapes that were also marked down to 3 bucks. Perfect for freezing to make winter smoothies.

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

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