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.
- 2 kg (70 oz) ripe plum tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 red onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 small chilly-pepper
- 1 laurel leaf
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 1 small bunch on parsley
- 15 leaves of basil
- 7 cloves
- 1 tablespoon of cooking salt
- 120 g (4,2 oz) of brown sugar
- 7 gr (0,25 oz) of mustard seeds
- 1 pinch of pepper
- Clean and cut into chunks the tomatoes, the red pepper and te onion. Put all the vegetables in a big saucepan and add laurel, garlic, vinegar, chilly-pepper, parsley and basil leaves. Stir and cook over a low heat for 2 hours.
- Strain the sauce in the vegetable mill and put it again in the saucepan adding cloves, salt, brown sugar, mustard seeds and pepper.
- Cook again over a low heat for at least 30 minutes or until the sauce gets to the right thick consistency.
- Put the sauce in the already sterilized jars and proceed with their pasteurization in order to preserve the sauce for winter times.
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!
Sharing is caring!
If you like this post and wish to help me growing please push the “share” button here below!