YOU LOVE homemade spaghetti sauce, but you can't face the chores of scalding and peeling bushels of tomatoes? Since nobody likes to find tomato skins in the sauce, what else can you do? It would seem the choice is to peel tomatoes or not make sauce at all.
Happily, there is another possibility: Reach for a blender. Put several tomatoes in the blender, make sure the lide is tight and run on high speed for a few seconds. Presto, the skins disappear into a million undetectible fragments. You can't see them, you can't feel them on your tongue and you can't taste them. The skin-peeling problem has been solved, and for once it's true what you can't see and won't hurt you.
You will be amazed how quickly you can convert a bushel of tomatoes into quarts of totally blended tomato puree. First, of course, wash the tomatoes carefully. Then cut out any bad spots and fibrous parts, including the hard core at the stem end. With practice, you'll discover the optimum number of tomatoes to put in the blender. A few at a time is more efficient than overloading.
The kind of tomatoes used is up to you, but many people choose Romas, which are so meaty they need very little boiling down to make a thick sauce. If you are using very juicy tomatoes, you many wish to cut them up over a large bowl to catch the juice, and put only the fleshly parts into the blender. l(You may want to extract the seeds, too, but the blender makes them disappear.) All that juice is good for something: drink it, use it instead of water to make lemon gelatin or aspic, use it instead of water to dilute canned, condensed soups such as minestrone or vegetable or baste a baking fish or a pot roast with it.
Both of the following spaghetti sauces may be canned or frozen. Think about how many people you are likely to be serving as you decide what size containers to use. One caveat: Plan ahead on thawing a gallon block -- 5 p.m. is too late to start thawing for tonight's dinner, even if you dine Roman style at 10 p.m. ITALIAN SPAGHETTI SAUCE (6 large servings) 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 tablespoon oil 1 pound hamburger (or meatloaf mixture) 3 1/2 cups of your own tomato pure 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste pluse 2 cans water 2 cloves chopped garlic Mushrooms (optional) 3 to 4 ounces dry red wine 2 bay leaves About 3/4 teapoon each of sugar, salt, ginger, oregano, pepper, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage
Brown the onion in olive oil. Brown the hamburger (and pork). Add tomato puree, tomato paste and water, mushrooms, spices and wine. Simmer 4 hours, stirring occasionally. MEATLESS SPAGHETTI SAUCE (2 1/2 gallons) 36 cups cut-up tomatoes (approximately 18 pounds) 1 tablespoon vinegar 2 tablespoons dried oregano 2 tablespoons dried thyme 2 tablespoons dried basil 3 tablespoons brown sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 cups chopped onions 3/4 cup snipped parsley 6 garlic cloves, minced 3 bay leaves
Puree tomatoes in blender (or you may boil them gently for an hour and put them through a food mill). Add and mix well all the remaining ingredients. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring from time to time for at least 1 1/4 hours or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
If canning, pack the hot sauce into glass containers and process 55 minutes in hot water bath. If frezzing, pack in freezer containers, being sure to allow head room for expansion so the lids won't be forced off when frozen.