There are recipes you must wait months to cook as their main ingredients must be at their peak and when the right time eventually arrives you must absolutely NOT forget to prepare!
One of these – yes, jointly with jams – is homemade ketchup or, better, its Italian version called salsa rubra.
You have to wait until August/end September, when plum tomatoes are firm and dark red, peppers are pulpy and fragrant, red onions just picked.
But August is also the hottest month in Italy and you hardly think to activities which imply staying in the kitchen for half a day with boiling pans around. For this reason this year I entrusted to a pink post-it note stuck up my kitchen wall since March to remember me to prepare this wonderful sauce at the right time.
I already savor the idea of putting on the table my homemade ketchup without feeling that slight guilt which always catches me when I cannot resist and season dishes cooked with genuine raw materials and love with some industrial sauces! And I already savor as well the compliments I will be paid by my friends because I swear this ketchup Italian style is surprisingly rich and tasty! Just try and see!
The doses here below are for about 600 ml (20 fl oz) of sauce. If you are a ketchup addict and do not have too much time, I suggest to double or triple them.
Finally, this sauce is without preservatives – it’s like a tomato sauce – therefore once you have opened the jar (after pasteurization) you need to consume it in a couple of days and keep it in the fridge. For this reason I suggest to can it in small jars (they also look prettier on the table) and to open them just at the right occasion so to avoid regretful leftovers.
TIPS & LINKS
If you look for advices for a safe home canning you can give a look at the Guide Lines published by the United States Agriculture Department in 2015. There are pasteurization procedures and times for each product you wish to can, also ketchup!
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