Jarred Tomatoes "I Pomodori"


It's an annual tradition for so many Italian-American families. You'll see them in driveways and garages, on back patios and front porches; cutting, cooking and jarring tomatoes. The late summer, Italian tradition, carried over by immigrants, is just another way Italians never let food go to waste. 

Known for their green thumbs, many Italian families, including my own grandfather, would always have a garden, which usually produced a bounty of tomatoes. Rather than trying to eat them all before the first frost, families would collect them, cook them down (or not) and jar them to be eaten as sauce through the winter months. 


These days a lot of folks will buy bushels of tomatoes as not too many people garden, or garden enough to gather that quantity of tomatoes. But the tradition lives on. The Mollano family in Nanuet New York was kind enough to let us come to their home and share their tradition with us. Ida says it was her mother who taught her, and she has been teaching her daughter Francesca since she was little. They recount how "Nonna" was very particular about how to cut the tomatoes. And Francesca's role was limited until she was older and knew what to do. Now her husband Sergio has joined them - along with friends Glen and Linda. But you can only have a jar if you help! 

I love creating this video and sharing this story with you - and learning from them! I hope you enjoy it as well! Don't forget you can win this Ball Canning Back to Basics cookbook from Time Inc. Books by SUBSCRIBING to my YouTube channel here! 


Thank you again to the Mollano's for sharing your tradition, your stories and your tomatoes with us!

Buon Appetito!

Jarring Crushed Tomatoes
Makes 2, 1 pint jars OR 1, 1 quart jar

2 3/4 lbs. ripe tomatoes
Salt (optional)
fresh basil & parsley (optional)

Prepare a small pot of boiling water and an ice bath. Sanitize your jars and lids in boiling water, keep the jars warm until ready to fill.

Cut an X onto the bottom side of each tomato. Dip into boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Immediately dip into ice water. Peel off skin. Core tomatoes and cut into quarters.

Add the cut tomatoes to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with a potato masher as you go. Stirring to prevent scorching. Season with salt if desired. Once the tomatoes are crushed allow to cook for 5 minutes.

Add fresh herbs to each jar. Pour in tomatoes to the neck of the jar. Place lid and band on jar. 

Place filled jars in a large pot, making sure the water covers the jars. Bring to a boil and allow the jars to boil for 40-45 minutes (depending on jar size). Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

CAREFULLY remove jars from pot. Place upside down on a dish towel and allow to rest overnight.

Check the lids to make sure the jars sealed (the button in the middle should be down) wipe clean and store. If the button is still up, the jar did not seal properly and should be used right away.