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Tuesday, August 9, 2011


It's a busy time here at Sweet Briar Cottage.  The garden is producing and we are kept hopping harvesting and preserving.  It is such a joy to go out and pick our dinner.  One day a meal of sauteed  summer squash,onions and tomatoes  all fresh from the garden.  The next day a tomato sandwich warm from the sun. Another day new potatoes just dug minutes before popping them in the pot.  Not to mention the corn and melons!   Life is good.  You can't help but believe in miracles when think back to the fact that just a few months before we were planting seeds,some no bigger than a grain of sand, that are now food that nourishes both body and soul.  You'll never take your food for granted if you have labored over a plot of land weeding and hoeing, harvesting and preserving.  I'll guarantee you that!

We make a lot of this oven roasted spaghetti sauce.  As a matter of fact, I can't make enough of it.  So good!  It uses a lot of tomatoes, but that is what makes it taste so delicious.  The good thing about this recipe is that you don't have to peel the tomatoes, so if you do what I do and plant too many of those cherry tomatoes, you can use them in this recipe.  And since those are usually the sweetest ones, your sauce will turn out especially good!

Oven Roasted Spaghetti Sauce

7 lbs. of tomatoes
1/2 dozen garlic cloves (or more if you really like garlic)
1/2 dozen onions
1/4 C. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 C. fresh  herbs (I use lots of oregano and basil. And rosemary, thyme, fennel and chives.  But feel free to use what you like best)
1/4 C. sugar
3-4 peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a large roasting pan with the olive oil.  Wash and remove the stems from the tomatoes.  Roughly chop the onions.  and wash the herbs.  Place all the ingredients in the roasting pan.  It will look like this:

Roast for a half hour.  Give it a stir.  Roast for an additional half hour and stir again.  Roast for another hour, watching it carefully that last half hour so it doesn't burn.  The top will start to brown and the liquid will evaporate.  The tomatoes will become soft and the herbs and onions will start to meld together.  It will cook down quite a bit.  Here's how it will look:

Take it from the oven and put the mixture through a food mill.  Now you can freeze the sauce or do what I do and  pressure can it.  Pints are processed at 10 pound of pressure for 35 minutes.

BTW, yes that is a plastic bag drying in the background.  I never thought I'd become one of those people (i.e. an old fuddy duddy), but they've become so expensive, I do now.  I have purchased a lot of covered containers from garage and estate sales and rarely use plastic wrap anymore too.  Of course, I recycle a lot of containers too for that purpose, like Cool Whip containers. :)


  1. Oh that looks sooo good Jane! I admire the effort you put into eating well. (When are you serving spaghetti?? (-: )

    And I love the hanging plastic bag; I, too, use and reuse and still it pains me when I finally have to throw it away.

  2. This looks wonderful! Thank you for the recipe!

  3. This looks amazing! I planted way more tomatoes this year but of course, we've had a shortened growing season so far. We'll see if we extend it at the end of summer...

    And shh... I'm one of THOSE people too.

    Blessings, Debbie

  4. I have never seen this done before! I am going to share it with Mother; she is covered up with tomatoes!

    Enjoy these days of bounty! I fear fall is in the air...

  5. Thank you! I never knew you could make sauce that way. And nice pictures. The beginning picture of the tomatoes and herbs looks so healthy and pretty! My mom used to cook it on top the stove, thus splashing about. And I know homemade sauce tastes so good! I was just thinking how tired I am of plastic bags, and I should get more plastic containers and stop the bags. (plus my family complains that the bags leave a taste). I just washed out a big cool-whip container today. love,andrea

  6. This recipe sounds great, I love step by step tutorials, if our weather stays hot enough for any length of time I am hoping some of my tomatoes ripen for this recipe, I love roasting things, can't wait to give this a try. :)

  7. Hi Sandy! Anytime you want to drive over, I'll be glad to serve you some! I used to think that washing out plastic bags was something old people did, then it occurred to me,I am an old person!

    Thanks Crickit!

    Hi Debbie! Hopefully you'll get a warm September and extend your growing season. You seem to have the opposite weather than we are having. Too bad it couldn't have evened out and we all could have had perfect weather!

    Hey Matty! being covered in tomatoes is a happy dilemma. Like I said, since you don't have to peel the tomatoes it's easy as pie.

    Afternoon Andrea! I also make an apple butter in the oven this way. No standing around stirring. As a matter of fact, I was busy canning some jam and relish while I was making the sauce and completely forgot about stirring it. Although I wouldn't recommend that!

    Hi April! I have new respect for Pioneer Woman after making this little tutorial. Never can get the pictures to go where I want them. Roasting gives things a wonderful flavor, doesn't it?

  8. Oh my goodness! My mouth is actually watering at the sight of that and it is only just after 6 in the morning here. Can't wait to try it when more of my tomatoes are ripe, that first photo with all the fresh herbs is so beautiful too.

  9. Thanks Heather! I love using all the fresh herbs. It's such a joy to go out in the herb garden and pick them. Their lovely scent stays on your clothes all day long.

  10. dear jane
    oh that looks sooooooooooooooooooooo good and make my mouth watering. thanks for the recipe.
    my garden looks not well,i lost the half of my tomatoes after the many rains in the last weeks.
    i am so sad.this year is not a good garden year for me.i hope the next year is better.
    have a nice week my friend,
    love regina

  11. Oh the trials of gardening Regina! This year's harvest is a disappointment compared to last year, here also. The deer ate almost all the beans and the onions were rather puny. The one thing we did have was a bumper crop of peppers. I'll probably dry some. Seems like it's always feast or famine when it comes to gardens! Today is beautiful. You can feel autumn in the air! Hope you are having a lovely day too!

  12. Hi Jane, wow! This looks so delicious! I know Tony and I would flip over your delightful, fresh spaghetti sauce. I put roasted bell peppers in my sauce too, I love the flavor and it really kicks it up a notch. It must be so satisfying to plan your meals around the bounty of your own garden. I bet the smell of all those herbs roasting with the tomatoes was heavenly. Yesterday my mother-in-law stopped at a stand and brought home a giant basket of fresh peaches. They were just perfect. The peaches we have been getting in the store this year were horrible. These were fresh from someone's tree. Last night I cut up the peaches and made two pies, each with a single crust and a peach glaze to pour over the fruit. The first bite was like tasting summer. :) I hope that you are having a good day today. It was 104 here in Georgia, I haven't felt Autumn in the air just yet, but hopefully soon. We did have a really big howling wind storm blow through a couple of days ago and it took a lot of tree branches down. Tony is going to get the chain saw out this weekend and cut up some firewood for our outside fire pit. It will be nice when the air cools down a little bit and we can start having our fires out in the back again. Wonderful post Jane, I enjoyed it so much. Have a lovely afternoon! Delisa :)

  13. Yum peaches, Delisa! That's next on my "to can" list. We had a couple days of 70 degree weather. Teasing us with the promise of autumn. It will be here soon!

  14. Dear Jane,

    Mmm, tomato sauce! Hopefully our tomatoes will kick into gear before long, so we can try out your recipe! The ones we've picked so far have been eaten right away. :)

    Looking forward to see what else you'll be canning.



  15. Hi Marqueta! The trick to getting lots of tomatoes is to plant a lot of tomato plants! LOL! We plant about 30, so we have plenty to can and to share with the neighbors. Was gone for the better part of the day yesterday, but managed to squeeze in canning some black currant juice. I read in a herbal remedies book that a person should drink a glassful every morning. Loaded with vitamin C.

  16. I wish I had this recipe earlier when the cherry tomatoes were exploding in my back yard! I gave most of them away, (the ones I couldn't eat) rather than try to peel them to do something with them. Will try this next time. I have a friend whose husband cut her tomatoes way back, and they are growing again and re-blooming for a 2nd go-round. I think I may try that, we are still having days in the 90's and even a few still in the 100's, so we should have a long enough growing season for me have tomatoes in the fall.

    I'm so ready for cooler weather, we've had days in the high 90's &up for 4 months now. I'm ready to be DONE with summer.

  17. You have my sympathy Charlene! We had a couple of weeks in the 90s and we were miserable. Can't even imagine four months of it. Just canned up a few more batches of sauce today. It's practically makes itself!

  18. Jane that sauce looks wonderful! I tried canning some one year and it was okay, but just now wow. I'm going to have to try your recipe.

  19. Hi Shara! I think a lot of canning recipes are bland. You really need a lot more spices than what they give. And that bit of sugar is important too. It cuts the bitterness. Now days you need to pressure can it because the tomatoes aren't as acidic as they used to be. Better safe than sorry! I've canned up 10 pints so far and would like to have a bout 24 pints before I put the old canner up for the season.

  20. Hi Jane, how are you this evening? I just popped by to say hello and let you know I was thinking about you today. I have sure been enjoying looking at wonderful lace pattern book you sent me. It has some really great patterns and I sure do appreciate it! It has become one of my favorite knitting books. We sure had a big rain storm yesterday it blew it with big rolling thunder and crackles and snaps of lightening. It sounded like it was right over the house. I'm not complaining though because we sure needed the rain. I hope you have a restful evening ahead! Delisa :)

  21. Morning Delisa! I'm glad you are enjoying the book. It certainly has a lot of patterns doesn't it? I love a good storm! Especially since the old maple on the side of the house has been cut down, so we don't have to worry about it coming down on the house. It's cooled down here, which is strange because August is usually the hottest month, but I'm not complaining!