Freezing Tomatoes

Freezing tomatoes is a great way to keep them.When I am overwhelmed by the quantity of tomatoes that are ripe in my garden, I bag them and put them whole into the freezer. When I want to make more sauce or use them in stews or soups, I take them out, run them under cold water which makes the skins slip off and use them.

Did you know that tomatoes are the MOST popular fruit of the home gardener? Check out how to grow fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes in your own backyard! I always grow San Marzano tomatoes for the wonderful sauce that they make. They are meaty and have a delicious flavor and usually grow abundantly. The San Marzano is an heirloom plum tomato, considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomato in the world.

I have three tomato sauce recipes that I like to make ahead and freeze. Freezing tomato sauce is quick and easier than canning it.

Two sauces that I make are from Marcella Hazan’s cookbook, “The Classic Italian Cook Book”

Tomato Sauce 1 calls for 2 pounds of fresh ripe plum tomatoes. Wash them and cut them in half lengthwise and cook in a covered sauce pan at a steady simmer for 10 minutes and then uncover and simmer gently for 11/2 hours more.

Let the mixture cool and puree through a food mill into a bowl. Discard the skins and seeds.

Rinse and dry the sauce pan and add 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup finely chopped onion. Lightly sauté this over medium heat until onion is translucent not browned and then add 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot and 1/3 cup finely chopped celery. Cook one minute and add the pureed tomato from the bowl, 2 tsp salt and 1/4tsp sugar and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Serves 6.


One who cooks a lot knows how to substitute and since I did not have the carrot or celery I only used onion and added chopped basil leaves. The result was still delicious.

Tomato Sauce 11 uses 2 pounds of tomatoes washed and cut in half lengthwise. Cook in a covered sauce pan for 10 minutes and then put through a food mill. Put the tomatoes back in the pot and add 1/4 pound butter, one whole onion cut in half, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp sugar and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

Just in case you are watching your weight and want to cut down on the calories in the sauce, I have also included a recipe from the Weight Watcher Cook Book “Simply the Best Italian”. It is very good and has a minimal amount of olive oil added to it.

Light Tomato Sauce Heat 4 tsp olive oil. Add 12 San Marzano tomatoes (about 3 C. chopped) 1 minced garlic clove and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until reduced to 2 cups. The instructions do not say to put through a food mill, but I do and discard the seeds and skin.

These recipes are easily frozen in plastic or glass containers.

Try freezing tomatoes whole or as tomato sauce and enjoy "summer" all winter long!


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