Sunday, October 23, 2016

Home Canned Pizza Sauce #SundaySupper

If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I'd never have been able to tell you there was a whole month dedicated to pizza. Then, thanks to #SundaySupper, I discovered that National Pizza Month was actually established in 1984. As a result, Americans have been using the month of October to celebrate their love of pizza, and what a love it is! Over 3 billion of these cheesy treats are sold yearly in the USA alone, and if I know anything from my experience teaching, a school's pizza day is one of the highlights of the term.

I love a good pie as much as the next person (albeit my tastes lean more towards the more sauce / no mozz and tons of veggies side), but as a family we reserved pizza take out for birthday parties and maybe one or two times a year when we had a late night for a school function. After going to cooking school (and living on my own for the first time), I came to appreciate the power that a well-made sauce had to elevate everything from slow-risen, whole grain flatbreads to even the simplest pizza dough. I started off by sauce-making experiences with the most basic, single-serving and - gasp - ketchup based mixture, which is still perfectly delicious in it's own right. With my home ec classes, I step up the sauce creation a little bit, using a tomato paste-fortified mixture laden with a few key spices and herbs, which gives our pies a perfect kid-friendly flavour with just enough authenticity to show them there's something beyond the jar or the 27-cheese monstrosities they can order for delivery.

Pizza night will never be the same after tasting your own homemade pizza sauce! #yum #vegan #vegetarian #cooking #healthyfood #foodie #instafood #homegrown #canning #preserving #growyourown #garden #vegetables #yummy #healthy #food #foodstagram #vegetaria

This year in my canning melee, I decided that I would try my hand at making pizza sauce 100% from scratch, with real tomatoes and garden-fresh garlic and herbs. I had Jami's recipe as a guide, which gave me the tip of freezing and thawing the tomatoes first to remove excess liquid (one of the reasons I have gallon bags of tomatoes hanging in the freezer as we speak) and the whole thing came together easily once everything was in the pot. I won't say it was quick, because as with most homemade tomato sauces the slower and lower they cook, the better, but I will say that the time was more than worth it. Not only does the sauce can and freeze well, but I can vouch for the fact that the sauce that didn't make it into jars turned into a divine dipper for garlic pita and everything bagel chips.

This week, the #SundaySupper team is pulling out our best pizza recipes to fill your belly with deliciousness. We’ve got everything from traditional pizzas to dessert pies, and some pizza inspired sandwiches and salads.  Join us on Twitter tonight at 7pm where we’ll be talking all things pizza and sharing our best pizza recipes.
 

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Home Canned Pizza Sauce
Makes 3 ½ cups, 14 (1/4 cup) servings 
3 lbs plum tomatoes, cored, frozen and thawed
½ medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
½ tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp minced fresh basil
1 tbsp minced fresh lemon balm
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
Pinch ancho chili pepper
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt (I used Cabernet Salt)
½ tsp citric acid
  1. Drain the thawed tomatoes and pass them through a food mill.
  2. In a large pot, cook onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion softens, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add tomato puree and all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. Remove bay leaf.
  4. Process with an immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Return to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until sauce is thick (reduced by at least ⅓), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Process for 35 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 27.6
Total Fat: 0.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 9.0 mg
Total Carbs: 5.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 0.9 g