Aug 8 2014

Garden Marinara

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Ahh, summer is in full swing here in Missouri and that means we’re getting tons of tomatoes out of the garden. We’ve got a few tomato plants of two different varieties: Cherokee Purple & Garden Peach. The Cherokee Purple get huge…I mean like, size of your hand huge. They’ll turn this beautiful dark reddish purple and taste fantastic. The Garden Peach were a new one for me. When they’ve got a golden yellow color, perhaps with hints of red, they’re ripe. Like the name suggests they have some characteristics of a peach, namely, they’re slightly fuzzy. The Garden Peach are also very sweet in terms of tomatoes.

It’s nearly impossible for us to eat all of the fresh tomatoes that come out of the garden so I decided to can a fresh, simple marinara sauce. This is really, a super simple recipe. You could add some flare to if you like:

  • bay leaves
  • other vegetables (sweet pepper, zucchini, mushrooms)
  • sugar if you like your sauce a little sweeter

Also, don’t be afraid of the canning process! It’s super simple. I know you’ve got a few mason jars and their lids lying around, or an old pickle jar, or anything like that. First: make sure it’s clean. Secondly, get another large pot and fill it with enough water to cover the jars. Get the water boiling then set the jars & lids in gently. When you’re ready to add the sauce to the jars please use tongs to remove the lids & jars from the boiling water. Otherwise, you’ll burn yourself and probably break glass all over your kitchen floor. Then just fill the jars with your sauce, to the brim, screw on your lid (probably will need a pot holder to hold onto the jar when screwing the lid and/or filling) and set aside. Pretty soon after sealingĀ theĀ little button on top will pop down and you’ve got a canned jar of marinara!

Total Time to Prepare: 1 hour & 20 minutesCooking Time: 1 hourServes: 4-6


  • 7-10 large tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3/4 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 2.5 cups onions
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 3 12oz glass jars with lids
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Combine all the tomatoes & dried spices in a blender and blend til smooth
  2. Dice up the onion, finely dice the garlic & cayenne
  3. Add the onion, garlic and cayenne to a large sauce pan with a thin coating of olive oil
  4. Let the onion, garlic, cayenne mixture simmer on a medium heat until the onions become translucent and start to brown a little
  5. Add the blended tomatoes & spices.
  6. Cover and bring to a boil.
  7. Set your timer for 1 hour and after this hits a boil turn the burner down to a low-medium heat.
  8. Approximately the last 25 minutes of this hour you may want to turn the burner completely down to low as a lot of the moisture has started to cook out. I did and would suggest it.
  9. Add that tablespoon of lemon juice into the sauce before jarring it up! This helps raise the acidity level to avoid botulism.