By Samantha Schwalm
This weekend is Labor Day Weekend, and the unofficial end of summer. Although, we are all sad to see cooler temperatures on the horizon, for the farmers, it is harvest time! For the consumer, this is the time to truly find wonderful local produce. So get outside and enjoy your local farmers markets!
For me, it is time to restock my freezer. The two main things I stock my freezer with are pasta sauce and chicken stock. Let’s focus on a basic tomato basil pasta sauce. I am not a canner, but I do like to use the ball jars to freeze my sauce. They are sold more places than you would think, and you can always order them on line. The most important thing to remember when freezing any liquid, is it will expand when it freezes. This means DO NOT fill your jars to the top. Leave an inch or two for your sauce to expand. I have a larger freezer which means I usually make my sauce with a bushel of tomatoes. This recipe will be considerably smaller, but keep in mind you can expand to fit your needs.
1/2 onion diced
6 oz can of tomato paste
1 diced garlic clove
2 tablespoon of chiffonade basil
1 tablespoon of diced oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
10 tomatoes (Vintage Prairie Farms is where I purchased mine)
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, place diced onion and garlic. Sauté on medium until translucent. About 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato paste, basil, & oregano. Stir together and add the last three ingredients. Simmer for an hour. For a smooth sauce place in a food processor or blender until smooth. Season to taste. Pour pasta sauce into glass jars leaving room for it to expand when frozen. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This allows the sauce to completely cool before freezing. Finally, place in freezer.