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Canning tomatoes sauce is an old Italian tradition, an occasion to get family and friends together.
With such a large quantity to make, you need a barrel !
After peaches it is now time to move on to canning tomatoes.
So to really get into the Italian spirit and discover how it was traditionally made, I went again to visit my cousin Roberto Lombi, the agronomist!
Roberto is a man full of resources, always ready to get things done without a fuss.
He loves nature in its simplest and authentic form.
He went several times as a volunteer to teach farmers in Burchina Faso how to make cheese and preserve farm produces.
So he prepares his canned tomatoes for the winter, with the simplest traditional method: using a Barrel
Meet the team: Nino (also agronomist), his wife Marinella and his brother in law Enzo.
Let’s get the party started !!!
The day before they went to an organic farm and bought 1 tons of organic long tomatoes.
The closest there is to San Marzano.
Unfortunately, as Roberto explained to me, the real San Marzano do not exist anymore as they have been decimated by a disease.
So what are sold as San Marzano, do not originate from there, but are the closest variety to them.
So we met at 8 o’clock in the morning to get an early start.
Everybody gets to work cutting the tomatoes into 4 sections, removing the green connection of the stem and any damaged parts.
As soon as a bucket was ready the tomatoes were poured into a large caldron to cook while covered, stirring from time to time to make sure they did not stick to the bottom.
The baskets were aligned over the drainage grid so the water of the tomatoes was draining away.
One more squeeze before proceeding…
..and in they go inside the grainer, one, two, three times, to make sure no pulp is left on the skin.
Nothing is wasted and the tomato skin goes into the compost, to fertilize more tomatoes plants for next year.
Once the jars were all filled and closed, they began preparing the barrel, and placed it over the burners where the caldron of tomatoes was cooking earlier.
And while Marinella was putting a band around each jar, Nino and Enzo were layering the jars placing potato’s bags on top until they filled the barrel to the top.
Once the barrel was full they filled it with water.
They placed a cover on top, and a brick to stop the jars from floating and banging while boiling.
They started the fire and waited for the water to boil.
Once boiling they left the jars to boil for 1 hour….
In the meantime, we proceeded to clean all the bits and pieces, including the floor!
After boiling for one hour, the canned tomatoes were ready, however it takes an additional day for the barrel and the jars to cool down completely.
So, our job was done for the moment.
Of course, we had kept aside a couple of jars of tomatoes, enough to make a big plate of spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce.
What a coincidence, all the work was finished just in time for lunch.
So this is how homemade canned tomatoes sauce is traditionally done in Italy
Below is how I make homemade canned tomatoes sauce in my kitchen.