The recipe for jarred cherry tomatoes, covered with tomato sauce, is easy and quick to prepare. It’s a simple process that allows us to preserve our tomatoes for a long time, so we can enjoy them throughout the winter season. Homemade preserves are the best way to make the most of garden and orchard vegetables, often abundant for fresh consumption. We have already provided recipes for homemade preserves such as chili peppers in oil, zucchini in oil, crushed olives, Piennolo tomatoes, dried tomatoes in oil, fig jams, and plum jams.
In this article, we will show you, through a detailed photo gallery, all the steps of the recipe for jarred cherry tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Choosing the Right Tomatoes
To preserve cherry tomatoes in jars, you can use small-sized varieties called cherry tomatoes. These are varieties commonly grown in home gardens. Specifically, we refer to tomato cultivars like: cherry tomatoes; small plum tomatoes; Piennolo tomatoes (yellow and red); and black cherry tomatoes. These are generally very robust and generous varieties in terms of production. In our recipe for jarred cherry tomatoes, we used:
- Cherry tomatoes for the preserve;
- Oxheart tomatoes for the sauce.
Among the listed varieties, use the ones you prefer. The important thing is that each fruit is very ripe and perfectly intact. Additionally, it’s better to avoid cherry tomatoes attacked by green stink bugs or other harmful pests like the tomato hornworm. To make excellent preserves, you need sweet and healthy tomatoes.
Properly Sterilizing the Jars for the Sauce
For every homemade preserve, it’s absolutely important to follow the guidelines for correct home food preservation provided by the Ministry of Health and the National Reference Center for Botulism. An important preliminary step before delving into the heart of the recipe for jarred cherry tomatoes with tomato sauce is sterilizing the jars. For this operation, we have two options:
- Boiling in water for 30 minutes;
- Baking in a preheated oven at 150°C (300°F) for 15 minutes.
We sterilized them using the second option. Glass jars are the precious containers for our homemade preserves. You can find a range of practical and affordable models here.
Thoroughly Washing the Tomatoes
Let’s move on to the proper washing of the tomatoes. After removing all the stems, you can place them in a basin with cold water and a bit of baking soda. Rinse gently but thoroughly in the water and drain the first water. Then rinse again and let them dry. Place them in a perforated crate to ensure excess water can drain properly.
Filling the Jars with Natural Cherry Tomatoes
For the preparation of jarred cherry tomatoes, we divide the process into two parts. The first involves filling the jars with raw cherry tomatoes. The second involves making the tomato sauce. The first operation is delicate since the cherry tomatoes should not be crushed, nor should they have too much space between them. Take your time and closely observe your jars. For proper filling, leave at least 1.5 cm of space from the jar’s neck. The jars we used have a nominal capacity of 314 g.
The Recipe for Tomato Sauce
Once the cherry tomatoes are placed in the jars, let’s move on to the recipe for tomato sauce.
Ingredients for Tomato Sauce
In our recipe for jarred cherry tomatoes, the tomatoes in the jars will be covered by tomato sauce. This will preserve them properly. By doing so, we will have a ready-to-use sauce composed of whole cherry tomatoes and a flavorful sauce (or puree). Ingredients for tomato sauce (or tomato puree):
- Approximately 2 kg of ripe tomatoes to fill 15 jars of 314 g cherry tomatoes each;
- Salt to taste;
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil;
- Some leaves of basil;
- Onion, to taste;
- Chili pepper, to taste.
How to Make Tomato Sauce
For the preparation of tomato sauce, use well-ripened fruits. They can be the same cherry tomatoes used to fill the jars (perhaps the more mature or damaged ones). Alternatively, you can use salad tomatoes that are too ripe for fresh consumption. Wash and cut them into pieces, removing green or damaged parts. Then add the other ingredients and cook everything over low heat at the beginning, and medium heat for the rest of the cooking process. The cooking time shouldn’t be very long, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. When a nice liquid has formed, turn off the heat and pass the tomatoes through a classic stainless steel food mill.
This step is essential to obtain a smooth and fairly thick tomato puree, free of peel residues.
Combining Jarred Cherry Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce
Now, let’s move on to the phase of the recipe where we combine the jarred cherry tomatoes with the tomato sauce. The process is straightforward, accomplished by filling the jars prepared earlier with the sauce. Fill the space until it covers the level of the tomatoes. After this operation, you can tightly seal the jars.
Boiling the Jars with Cherry Tomatoes and Sauce
The final phase of the recipe is boiling the jars containing the cherry tomatoes and sauce. This process creates a vacuum seal and ensures perfect preservation. This is why we placed the raw cherry tomatoes in the jar. With boiling, they will be cooked without becoming mushy. It’s recommended to use a large pot and place a cotton cloth inside to prevent breakages during boiling. Once the water starts to boil, let it boil for 30 minutes. After the time has passed, allow the jars to cool and then remove them.
At this point, our recipe is complete. Easier done than said. Remember to store the jarred cherry tomatoes with sauce in a dry pantry away from sources of humidity and heat.