Learning how to make tomato sauce can be fun, but taking part in the hard work and tradition with an Italian family is an unforgettable experience.
Now that we have moved into our home, we are living the full Italian experience. From shopping at the local supermarket to spending time with our Italian family, Mina and Gigi! They are our landlords, and they are beautiful people. We are thrilled to be sharing a home with them for the next three years (the house is split, we don’t really live with them).
Everyone came together to make tomato sauce for the year as part of the summer tomato harvest. It’s a lot of hard work, but the tradition brings the family closer together – and all hands are needed to make it happen!
How to make tomato sauce – the Italian way
When we were invited to come down to the parking area to learn how to make tomato sauce, my initial thought was, why are we making it outside? Then I looked over our balcony and saw a massive cauldron of water boiling, ready for the first batch of tomatoes to get tossed in. It turned out there were two main reasons. Making tomato sauce inside would turn the entire house into a sauna, and there wouldn’t be enough room for this massive pot!
Here are the steps:
- The night before, as it started to cool off, we went and picked fresh tomatoes from the garden. Only pick the good ones, none that are black or cracked.
- Rinse them in a large bucket of water.
- Find the best ones and put them in canning jars for preserving.
- Boil the rest in the massive pot. They are done when most have floated to the top.
- Remove the tomatoes from the boiling pot and put them back into a bucket.
- Put the tomatoes through the food processor, where it will separate the peels and seeds from the sauce. Make sure buckets are under both outlets.
- Repeat step 6 with the peels and seeds. The process the tomatoes a total of 3 times to maximize the sauce.
- To preserve the tomatoes that were placed in the jars, pour the tomato sauce into the jars.
- Bottle up the rest of the sauce.
- Store in a cool dry place for up to 3 years. If planning to use immediately, let cool then place in fridge or freezer.
One of my favorite parts of the whole evening was how everyone was together laughing and enjoying our time together. The stereotype you hear of Italians being loud and sounding like they are mad at each other but really they have this incredibly strong family bond was exactly true. It was so fun to see and be a part of it – especially with something as Italian as learning how to make tomato sauce. There are sure to be many opportunities to get together and cook while we are here. Planned already for next week, zuppa!
It definitely makes it better, but you don’t need to have your own Italian family to do this too! You can learn how to make tomato sauce wherever you are!