This marinara sauce for home canning is based on tomatoes that are roasted in the oven first.
Not only does this give the tomatoes a great flavour, it also makes them super easy to peel, because the skins will just fall right off — a welcome bonus.
Marinara means “sailor-style” in Italian. A marinara sauce will always be smooth, and contain garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, and vinegar and/or wine. For home canning, the oil is left out — you can stir in a quick tablespoon or so when you open the jar.
This recipe is from the Ball All New book (2016). The writers suggest, “This is a versatile base sauce that can be used on its own or as the starting point for other sauce variations.” Traditionally, marinara is used with pasta, or on some meats.
Yes, tomatoes must be peeled before canning in this recipe to reduce the bacterial load going into the canner.
See all pasta-sauce recipes for canning.
Jar size choices: Quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz) OR half-litre (US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 8 x half-litre (US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: 40 minutes
Roasted Marinara Sauce
- 9 kg plum tomatoes (20 lbs. Measured before prep.)
- 250 g onion (chopped. 1.5 cups / 8 oz in weight. Measurement after prep. About 2 medium)
- cooking spray
- 250 ml wine (dry, red or white. 1 cup / 8 oz)
- 1 tablespoon salt (OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub)
- 1 tablespoon oregano (dried)
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
- 2 bay leaves
- 125 ml lemon juice (bottled. ½ cup / 4 oz. OR 2 teaspoons citric acid
- Wash tomatoes. Leave cores in and skin on. Cut in halves.
- Start oven heating to 200 C (400 F).
- Arrange tomato halves cut-sides down on ungreased, unsprayed baking sheets with high sides.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until skins are wrinkling and turning brown, and tomatoes are soft.
- Proceed in batches. If you need to remove cooked tomato halves from the baking sheets to free the sheets up for more, use a flipper to lift the halves off and place on platters to cool -- don't dump them in a bowl or you will make peeling them later triple the work.
- Meanwhile, spray another baking sheet or dish with cooking spray, arrange the onion on it, lightly spray that onion, and bake until onions are golden brown -- about 20 minutes.
- Let cooked tomato halves cool till it is safe to touch them.
- Peel by pinching the skins in towards the centres of the tomatoes. The skins should come right off. (If you have a food mill, you can leave them on.)
- Press the tomatoes through a food mill or sieve in batches to strain out the seeds (discard the seeds.)
- Put tomato purée in pot.
- Add the onion to the pot.
- Add to the pot everything from the wine down to and including the bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes or desired thickness.
- Remove and discard bay leaves.
- Stir in either the citric acid OR the lemon juice.
- Ladle sauce into heated jars, leaving 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Process in a water bath or steam canner.
- Process jars for 40 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
- If you don’t have a food mill and want to do this recipe, be prepared for a lot of work. Using the back of a sturdy mixing spoon or wooden spoon, press a few scoops at a time through a coarse sieve over a bowl, using a stirring motion. Be prepared to give your arm some breaks. Set aside all the residue, and then when you are done, re-press the residue one more time. If you don’t, you won’t get the full yield of jars for the recipe.
- Salt used (optional) doesn’t need to be pickling salt.
- Instead of 6 garlic cloves, you could use 6 teaspoons of minced garlic from a jar of oil-free minced garlic as a time saver.
- Instead of starting with tomatoes and roasting them, you can start with 4 litres / US quarts / 128 oz of passata, which is bottled tomato purée, though it won’t have that roasted flavour. (One or two drops of liquid smoke might compensate a bit.)
- Don’t be tempted to pile the tomatoes two or more layers high on the baking sheets. They will steam, not roast. It’s the roasting that provides the depth of flavour in this recipe.
- It took 5 tray loads to roast all the tomatoes — anyone with a dual oven will be very glad they do.
- Be careful about placing a tray on a rack too close to the heating element below.
- Other than that precaution, you don’t need to spray the baking sheets or anything. but do make sure you use baking sheets with rims at least 2 cm (½ inch) high or higher, as a lot of water will run off the tomatoes..
- We found it actually took the onions closer to 40 minutes to turn golden. If you have a spare rack during your final batch of tomatoes, you might as well put the pan of onion in the oven along with it to save energy.
- Butcher, Meredith L., Ed. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Page 204.
- Increased oven temperature for the roasting to speed it up. You may even wish to increase it to 225 C / 450 F.
Per 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 152 calories, 513 mg sodium
Per 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 152 calories, 75 mg sodium
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.