The thought of preserving tomatoes the Italian way may seem intimidating.
After all, if you’ve never done this before, it’s easy to feel like you don’t know where to start!
But did you know that it is actually not that hard to do?
In fact, with only very simple ingredients, you can make yourself the finest tomatoes… Preserved the Italian way!
So, let’s check out these quick, easy, and practical ways to start. Let’s get the ball rolling and prepare to enjoy the best Italian-style preserved tomatoes right at your very own kitchen!
Getting Started With Preserving Tomatoes the Italian Way
First things first – you need to get your tomatoes.
Now, when choosing the right tomatoes, you want to make sure it’s the best quality you need. There are many types of tomatoes out there, so the choice can get overwhelming.
When it comes to the ideal tomatoes, you want it to be firm, meaty, and with not as much water content. It also helps to find tomato varieties without a lot of seeds, especially if you are looking to turn these preserved tomatoes into a sauce for your pasta, pizza, or stews.
For the best tomatoes to preserve, we recommend the following varieties:
In terms of texture and flavor, Amish Paste is perfect for preserving into a delectable Italian paste. These are your heirloom tomatoes that are sweet in flavor and with a juicy content.
They typically grow up to 10 ounces, which is why you can use them for making Italian sauces that are thick and meaty.
A popular choice for preserving tomatoes the Italian way, Roma is absolutely perfect for canning purposes. It is also widely available, so you won’t have a hard time finding one to turn into a tomato paste or sauce.
These tomatoes are quite small at about 3 inches in length. However, you may be able to find larger ones. If you opt for larger varieties, then you can simply cut them down. They are also not very sweet, but you may go for the orange-colored Roma, which have a hint of sweetness to it.
One of the best tomatoes to make pastes for your pasta, pizza, and stews, Margherita is certainly a great choice. We love the fact that they are big, which gives you plenty of content out of each piece.
It does take 70 days until it reaches maturity, so that may take a bit of time. But once it’s ready, this tomato is completely worth it.
Red, plump, and meaty, these tomatoes are another suitable choice for your Italian paste. It is quite meaty and sweet, so you will love it if this is the flavor and texture you prefer. Peeling them is also easy and effortless. Plus, without much many seeds, this makes this variety even better to use.
How to Preserve Tomatoes The Italian Way
Now that you know more about the tomato varieties you can use, let us head over to the steps to preserving tomatoes the Italian way.
Using your choice of Italian tomato and the right tools, you can get yourself ready to begin! Here are the steps.
1. Gather your ingredients.
We recommend that you have the following ready, so you can create authentic Italian-style preserved tomatoes. These are:
- 5 kilos of ripe tomatoes
- 3 to 4 sprigs fresh basil leaves
- Large Bowl
- 2 large pans
- Small paring knife
- Slotted spoon
- 4 glass bottles or mason jars with lids
- Ice pack
2. Prepare your bottle or jar.
Grab your jars and sterilize them well. Do the same for the lids, and you can simply set the dishwasher on the “fast wash” setting” to get it going.
3. Get your pot ready.
Pour some water into a large pot about half-way. Get another pot with water and drop the ice or ice pack inside.
4. Peel the tomatoes.
Mark a cross on the ends of each tomato. This will help you to peel it more easily.
When the water is boiling, put the tomatoes inside the pot and allow the skin to split. This will help with the peeling process.
Then, remove each tomato using your slotted spoon. Place them in the other pot that contains iced water.
Put the rest of the tomatoes into the pot with boiling water then into the iced water pot. At this time, you can peel off the skin, and you will then have to core and cut them in half.
5. Strain the tomatoes.
When you have peeled the tomatoes, you need to squeeze out some of the liquid and remove the seeds. Slice them into small wedges and drain using a colander.
6. Can the tomatoes.
With all the skin and seeds off, you are now ready to stuff the tomatoes in the jar. Add in basil leaves in each jar. Make sure the jar or bottle is completely full with tomatoes.
7. Close the lid.
Screw the jar’s lid on tightly. Then, place these bottles into a pot of boiling water to preserve them with heat. Do so for about 10 minutes.
When ready, let the water cool with the jars still submerged in it. Then, wipe dry and store your tomatoes in jars in your pantry.
Preserving tomatoes the Italian way is so easy and quite fun. There are also very few materials and tools you need to get started.
With these steps, you are well on your way to creating the finest Italian dishes that require the best tomato sauce. It’s also cheap to make, plus you can be sure that the sauces or pastes you make are much healthier without any unnecessary ingredients.
So, go ahead and try these steps now and you’ll never have to use store-bought tomato sauces ever again. Enjoy!