Grow Your Own Pasta Sauce

Thinking about growing tomatoes so you can make home-grown pasta sauce at the end of summer? Hannah Bryce shares her top tips on how to achieve tasty results. 

Grow a paste variety

You can use any tomato variety for making tomato pasta sauce, however paste tomatoes are your best bet as they take less time to reduce down on the stove compared to juicy beefsteak and cherry varieties. My favourite paste tomato varieties are Amish Paste, San Marzano and Granny's Throwing.

Plant what you think you will need, then double it!

I grew 2 San Marzano tomato plants last year with a plan to make several jars of tomato, basil & garlic pasta sauce. I ended up with two 400ml jars (one per tomato plant)... needless to say this year I will be growing more.

Ripen the fruit on the vine

Fruit that is fully ripened on the vine has a much fuller flavour than fruits that are picked too soon and flavour is essential when it comes to pasta sauce. Tomatoes ripen from the bottom up however many varieties ripen before the fruit reaches full colour so don't rely on colour alone. Instead, pick tomatoes when the skin is glossy and they give slightly when gently squeezed.

Freeze fruit until you are ready

The fresher the tomatoes, the better the flavour so if you aren't ready to spend half a day making pasta sauce when your tomatoes start to ripen simply freeze them until you are. This will ensure the fresh flavour is maintained and as an added bonus you will find it much easier to remove the skin when you start preparing the sauce because frozen tomato skins simply slide off the fruit!

Use a tried & tested recipe

If you are planning to store your pasta sauce long term (in the pantry for several+ months) then ensure you follow use recipes from a reliable source like the Ball Canning website. These recipes have been PH tested and comply with the relevant safety guidelines to ensure that when you cook that pasta sauce in 6 months time it tastes good & is safe to eat. 
Want to try growing your own pizza too? Check out our Grow Your Own Pizza Kits, a fun activity the entire family can enjoy this summer.