There always seems to be a few days after work when a person is tired after a long day of work and has appointments or activities planned for that evening. You would probably rather relax on the couch and read or watch television, but you are faced with the problem of cooking something quick and healthy for your family before you head out to your meetings or activities. Spaghetti is a good choice for a weeknight, but the flavor of the store bought spaghetti sauce isn’t always the greatest. A little advance preparation time in which you make and can homemade spaghetti sauce will help you have a back-up meal that is healthy and tasty for those busy weeknights.
Making homemade spaghetti sauce is simple. To begin, you will need:
2 chopped onions
2 large cans of tomato sauce
2 minced cloves of garlic
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup white sugar
1 medium can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of dried basil
In a large roasting pan, mix all ingredients and cook at 250 degrees all day, stirring often. This can also be cooked in the crock pot.
Once the sauce is finished, let it cool off a bit before beginning to can your spaghetti sauce. While the sauce is cooling you can prepare for the canning process. Make sure you have clean canning jars and lids. It is important to sanitize your jars and lids to ensure a safe finished product. They can be sanitized in a dishwasher or in a pot of boiling water. You will also need a jar lifter, a canning funnel, a ladle, a jar rack, and a large pot that is big enough for the jar rack.
Once your supplies are ready, fill your pot with water and bring it up to boiling on the top of your stove. Next, line the jars on your counter and fill them with spaghetti sauce, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of open space at the top of the jar. Next, place the sanitized jar lid on top of the filled jar and tighten completely. Complete this process with the rest of your jars. Place the filled jars of spaghetti sauce into the jar rack, and insert the filled jar rack into your pot of boiling water. Let the jars process in the water for about 25 minutes. After this time, remove the jars with the jar lifter and place them to cool on your countertop. The jars should sit for a day without being moved in order to reduce the risk of not sealing properly. Once this process is completed, you should have a lot of jars of homemade spaghetti sauce.
As you can see, canning homemade spaghetti sauce is more time consuming than buying a jar at the grocery store, but the taste of homemade is better than the alternatives, and you can control the ingredients that go into the jars. Once you have homemade spaghetti sauce waiting in your cupboards, you won’t have to come home from work and worry about what’s for dinner-just boil some spaghetti noodles, open a jar of your homemade sauce, and you will have a delicious, from-scratch meal on the table in a matter of minutes.