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If I can ferment something, I will. This is my second attempt at spaghetti sauce and second time is the charm. I love the fresh from the garden taste of a raw spaghetti sauce and fermenting it adds a little zip to the freshness.
Tomatoes are a fruit with a high sugar content so you don’t want this to ferment too long or you’ll get a boozy spaghetti sauce. No need to have wine with your spaghetti in that case! I try to keep my meals kid friendly so a short ferment time it is. It will only keep in the fridge for about a month so this is not a long storage ferment. Still, a month is longer than a fresh spaghetti sauce will last in the fridge. If you make more than you plan on consuming in a month, freeze the rest.
It’s important to use fresh and not canned or heated tomatoes in this recipe. Cooked tomatoes have zero lactic acid bacteria and some is needed to get the fermentation going. Using cooked tomatoes and Caldwell’s does not work unless you use a lot of Caldwell’s and it’s too expensive to bother doing that.
To use the sauce, serve at room temp over warm noodles (or spaghetti squash). Make sure not to over heat it and kill all the good buggies.
I’m including directions for 2 types of sauce. The first is for a smooth sauce that also makes a very tasty gazpacho soup and the second is for a more chunky sauce. My kids like a smooth sauce and I like a chunky sauce so we have two batches.
Fermented Spaghetti Sauce or Gazpacho
- 8 cups of chopped tomatoes (about 4-5lbs), preferably a meaty paste tomato like Roma or San Marzano
- 1 sprig oregano
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig marjoram
- a small handful of basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 gms of non-iodized sea salt (Himalayan pink salt is my favorite)
- 1/8 tsp Caldwell’s starter (optional)
Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Hold over a bowl and gently squeeze the tomato to remove the seeds. Chop tomatoes roughly. Remove leaves from stems of all the herbs and mince. Mix tomatoes, herbs, garlic, bay leaf, and salt together. Press into your fermentation vessel making sure to press out all the air bubbles. Don’t worry about having everything under the brine. It should not mold in a Pickl-it. Seal your jar and don’t forget to add water to the airlock. Let set at room temp for 1-3 days. If your house is warm (upper 70′s) lean toward just 1 day. If it’s cooler (68F) go for 2-3 days. The ferment will still be bubbly when you move it to the fridge.
Serve at room temp over warm noodles.