Every Summer, since our arrival in Italy, my neighbor asks if I would like her help making "salsa." Salsa in this case means tomato sauce. Each year I am overjoyed that she helps me with such an undertaking. This year we started with 4 crates of tomatoes. I grow tomatoes in my garden, but I don't have the volume or variety she likes to use for sauce. So this year, like every other year, her husband purchased suitable tomatoes at a local market for the "salsa."
The process begins early in the morning, before it is too hot outside, with washing the tomatoes. Once all the little red jewels are clean, they are sliced in halves or quarters.
After they have boiled for a few minutes, the liquid is drained off of the tomatoes.
Next, the sauce is put into the jars using a funnel, or "imbuto" in Italiano. I used mostly 250ml jars, with a few pint jars. A pint is just a little smaller than 250ml.
Next, the tops are covered in thin plastic. I inquired about the reason for this step, and was told to do it because that is the way she was taught to do it. A word of caution on this step...one year I used American plastic wrap, which was apparently too thick, and ended up with all of the jars coming unsealed around December and all of the remaining sauce rotting....sad, sad, sad...very sad year. Last year I refused to do this step and everything turned out fine, this year my arm was twisted into doing it again...this time with Italian plastic wrap.