I have a good old standby sauce that I use, but I also have a bajillion pounds of basil that need to be used up, and this seemed like a good time to give a different recipe a go – especially one that could be canned. This was outstanding, and pretty easy (if labor intensive). I’ll be making this one again for sure. It has a little bit of a kick, and will be great in both pasta or vegetable dishes.
- 2 bulbs garlic
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 3-4 bell peppers
- 12 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
- 4 t salt
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 t ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 C lightly packed fresh basil, roughly diced
- 1/2 C other fresh herbs–thyme, parsley, etc.
- 6 T lemon juice (bottled is best)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the paper from the garlic cloves, and place in a pan; drizzle with olive oil. Slice peppers in half and seed, then place cut side down on a baking sheet (line with foil to make it a little easier) and brush lightly with olive oil. Place peppers and garlic in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until blackened.
Meanwhile, get a pot of water boiling, and an ice bath ready. Blanch the tomatoes a few at a time, then peel and roughly chop. Place the tomatoes in a large pot and begin to heat on medium. Save a couple of them and set aside.
Remove the peppers and garlic from the oven. Peel the peppers and roughtly chop; set aside. Squeeze the roasted cloves into the bowl of a food processor, add the tomatoes that have been set aside, and process together. Add to the cooking tomoatoes, along with the sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Bring to a heavy simmer for about 50 minutes, stir frequently.
Add the diced peppers and herbs, stir, and cook until desired consistency.
Pour one tablespoon of lemon juice in each prepared/sterlized jar. Ladle sauce into jars over the juice, and process for about 35-40 minutes total. Allow to cool and store in a cool, dry place.