Our family is blessed with an abundance of tomatoes in the garden. I feel like I need to pick every one of them and not let any go to waste and I also feel that I am becoming a slave to the garden. I like to make everything from scratch and I love the process of canning tomatoes, but not every day! I have blogged about my homemade Vodka Marinara Sauce and everyone really enjoys it. Well, honestly I cannot go through that process every day, because I want to enjoy my summer days and play a little too. The last time I gathered up a bunch of tomatoes it was dusk and I thought to myself, “Why not combine the ingredients in the crock pot and let it cook down overnight”. “I could tip the lid and let the moisture escape and then blend the ingredients in the morning.” I did just that and it came out great. I did this for 3 nights in a row, refrigerating the marinara then after the 3rd cooking, I started the canning process the next morning. It made 9 quart size jars. Tonight I am going to start the process again, only I think I will do 4 batches before canning, as my canner holds 7 jars at a time. Now keep in mind that I have a Vitamix so I don’t need to peel and de-seed each tomato. The Vitamix pulverizes the seeds and peel to a beautiful silky texture. –Reason number 8,432 of why you should own a Vitamix. J
Here’s how I did it:
Crock-Pot Tomato Vodka Marinara.
Pick enough tomatoes to fill the crock pot.
|I have learned with time that I can get more tomatoes in the|
crock-pot by chopping them up in the food processor prior
to putting them in the crock-pot.
Add in 2 diced white or yellow onions,
3/4 cups Vodka
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper –depending on how spicy you like it
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoons Pepper
1-1/2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Basil
3 teaspoons Chopped Garlic
1 Teaspoon Fennel seed
1 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1 Teaspoon Granulated Onion
Some Fresh Basil for the Blending
Clean and chop the tomatoes. Combine all the ingredients into the crock pot and cook overnight with the lid tipped, for steam to escape, on high for 12 hours or until almost all of the liquid is cooked down. (If your tomatoes are super juicy, they require even more cooking time with the lid tipped to cook down). My last batch took more like 15 hours.
|This is what is looks like after hours of being cooked down. My camera exposure was not set properly so it looks a little pink here, as opposed to the vibrant red and yellow it really was.|
Blend the ingredients, adding about 10 Basil leaves and possibly some sugar to balance out the acidity. (taste the sauce first to see if it even needs sugar) I almost always add sugar.
|Voila! you have yummy sauce.|
Now if you like a chunkier marinara, you can peel and de-seed the tomatoes and cook down the marinara the same way and just use an emersion blender mildly on the marinara to your liking of how chunky you like it.
And there you have it. Wonderful marinara to enjoy with so many things. At this point you can choose to can it, freeze it, or enjoy with the evenings dinner.