Preserving · Recipes

Canning No Peeling Pasta Sauce

It’s first week of September and I am picking tomatoes daily to process. With salsa prepped for the winter, it was time to move onto pasta sauce. I hate peeling tomatoes. It involves spending more time in the kitchen, and more time sweating. This is how to use all the tomatoes you grow: white, yellow, orange, red and the yellow-green ones. You can use any size, from cherry to the big ones. Because we grow our tomatoes, the peels on them tend to be thin. Unlike when you buy 20 pound boxes of commercially grown tomatoes that have thick skins. The peels in our tomatoes disappear into the sauce as it cooks.

Is this sauce different than what is expected in commercial jars of pasta sauce? Yes. It is. It is thinner for one. It will remind you of salsa in how it pours. No tomato paste. No thickeners. It is tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and and herbs. It is the last days of summer preserved for the cold long nights of December. Toss it with hot pasta (a quart jar covers one pound pasta), and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Use it as a base for a hearty vegetable beef soup. Taste in winter summer captured.

No Peeling Pasta Sauce


  • 12 pounds tomatoes
  • 6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried garlic
  • 1½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • Sugar to taste (Used 1 Tbsp)


Wash and air dry the tomatoes. Remove the stems, and for larger tomatoes, slice off the top part, and chop into smaller wedges. If the tomato has a noticeable core, remove and toss. Remove any blemishes on the peel if needed.

Finely chop or run the tomatoes through a food processor gently to break up. We use a manual food processor which doesn’t destroy the produce.

Add the tomatoes to a large non-reactive stock pot (stainless steel or enamel) along with the remaining ingredients (wait till cooked to add sugar if needed). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often.

Taste the sauce, and if needed add in a tiny bit of sugar.

Meanwhile add mason jars to canner. Fill jars with water and about half way up the canner. Bring to a boil.

Add the rings and lids to a small sauce pan, cover with water, bring to a simmer over medium.

Pull out the jars, draining back into the canner. Place on a clean kitchen towel. Dip your funnel, air bubble popper and ladle into the hot water.

Fill each jar, leaving a ½” headspace. Run bubble popper through jar, add more sauce if needed. Wipe down the rims with a damp paper towel. Place lids and rings on, finger tightening on.

Place into the canner. Jars should be covered with at least an inch of water, if not add in the water from the ring pot. Bring to a boil, let process for 40 minutes.

Take out, let cool on a clean kitchen towel.

Remove rings, note date on lid.

Use within a year for best results. If any lids do not seal, place in refrigerator, use up within a few days.

Makes 4 quart jars (depends on how much you cook it down and how juicy your tomatoes are). If you use pint jars, you will get about 8 jars. Process for 35 minutes.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!