Few things make me hang my head in defeat like the words "blanch, peel, and seed tomatoes."
Because seriously. I have enough work to do without adding that colossal mess to my list.
So when I heard that tomato seeds and skins contain pectin, a natural thickener, I decided that I'd never peel another tomato.
But those nasty bits of rolled up, stiff tomato skins in my jars of sauce? No thanks. Another blogger aptly named them "Satan's dental floss" and I enthusiastically agree.
My solution? The blender, baby! Blender tomato sauce is a lazy girl's life saver. The only drawback? Smooth sauce. If you prefer chunky sauce (who doesn't?), reserve a few of your meatiest tomatoes to peel and seed. Chop them up and add after you puree. Win-win, baby.
In truth, I'm just lazy enough that almost every jar of sauce in my pantry is smooth. I can cope. But if you toss whole fresh tomatoes in the freezer now, then thaw them when you're ready to eat the peels slip off like nothing and you can chop and add them to your sauce later. I know. It's a revolution for lazy people everywhere.
Want to know how to make tomato sauce like a superstar lazy girl (or guy)? Here's the scoop. This recipe is easily halved or doubled, tripled or quadrupled. Adjust to your needs!
Lazy Girl's Tomato Sauce Recipe
50 lbs tomatoes – whatever kind you've got (paste tomatoes will yield more or thicker sauce but anything goes)
4 Tb olive oil
3 lbs onions, diced (approximately 5 large onions)
1 – 2 heads of garlic, peeled and minced
approximately 10 oz lemon juice (2 Tb per quart)
Wash tomatoes and remove stems. Cut into large chunks or halves and transfer to a large, wide cooking pot. Squeeze the juice out of enough tomatoes to cover the bottom of your pot.
Set over medium heat and cover until you see steam. Remove lid and use a large spoon to push more tomatoes under the surface of the tomato juice.
As your tomatoes cook down the sauce will become more and more fluid. Keep pushing tomatoes under until your pot looks like the photo above. Gently cook until volume is reduced by 1/3. (At least one hour but often two or more, depending on type of tomatoes.)
Remove from heat.
Allow to cool significantly, as we will be blending. And hot stuff + blender can = a disaster. Don't mess with it. Let that sauce cool. You don't want a blender volcano. Because that would be terrible in so many ways. Cool first, then start at your blender's lowest speed.
When somewhat cooled, puree until completely smooth in your blender. Depending on your equipment this will take up to 4 or 5 minutes. In my Vitamix it was fast, but if your blender lacks oomph give it plenty of time.
In another large cooking pot, add olive oil. When oil is hot add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Remove from heat.
After sauce is a comfortable warm temperature puree in batches in your blender. Puree each batch until no more seeds or peel sections can be seen. Add pureed sauce to garlic and onion mixture. Repeat until all sauce is pureed and combined in a single pot.
Bring to a simmer. (If you will be canning your sauce it's time to prepare your jars.)
If you want to you can freeze your cooled sauce in zip bags or mason jars. If using jars only fill 2/3 full and don't lid tightly or your jars may break. If using zip bags or other plastic containers, allow sauce to cool completely before bagging and freezing.
Add 2 Tb bottled lemon juice to each clean, sterilized quart jar. Using a canning funnel, fill each jar with piping hot tomato sauce. Leave 1/2" of head space.
Wipe the rims with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar. (Be sure to get every bit of tomato off the rim or your jars will not seal.)
Lid with prepared lids and rings and process in boiling water bath for 30 minutes, covered with at least an inch of water above your jar lids.
Remove, then cool for 12 hours on a towel on the counter.
Remove rings, test lids for a tight seal, and store.
Well done, lazy girl. (Or guy.)