Making sauce is the best way to use up blemished and misshapen tomatoes. And we've had quite a few of those this year, since our weather in June and July was so damp. Drastic trimming gets rid of the blemishes, leaving big chunks of healthy tomato flesh to put in the sauce pot. Save the perfect tomatoes for salads and garnishes.
Two pieces of equipment are crucial for sauce making. One is, of course, a big pot to cook the tomatoes in. The other is a food mill, a moulin à légumes, which you use to puree the sauce and remove all the tomato seeds and skin. You also need a sharp knife, a ladle, and some containers to pack the sauce in for freezing (or canning).
...leaves you with smooth, thick sauce to enjoy eating later...
...and a mass of tomato seeds and skin for the compost pile.
We nearly filled up a 12-qt. pot with chunks of fresh tomato, diced onions, chopped celery, thyme, white wine, and bay leaves. Salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of sugar. (That frozen block in the pot was some frozen tomato and zucchini pulp and seeds we had saved when we made stuffed vegetables.) The pot bubbled away on the stove for at least 6 hours the other day, at low temperature, so that the sauce would thicken up without burning on the bottom of the pot. It reduced by about a half.
After it was cooked, I let it cool in big containers in the refrigerator overnight before I ran it through the food mill. Then we packed it in smaller containers for the freezer. The sauce is easier to work with when it's cold. That many tomatoes gave us 3.5 liters of thick tomato sauce. That's almost a gallon U.S. I hope we'll harvest enough tomatoes this month and next to make at least another gallon of sauce for the winter.