I did a small test batch of tomato sauce a while back and was pretty happy with the results. I tried to go big and make all the effort worthwhile. While the results were quite good, I made a major mistake in the tomato selection.
Tomato selection is important
The large Tennessee tomatoes I got were good, and very reasonable in price. There were also quite watery. Not all tomatoes are created equal when it comes to sauce production. An article I found after the fact has some good recommendations. Though we differ on some techniques, I think he has the right idea on tomato selection. My first batch was with roma tomatoes, and yielded more sauce despite being much less fruit to begin with.
In short, use roma tomatoes. They are cheap and delicious and make good sauce. That having been said, the new food mill did a bang up job of plowing through 25lbs of tomatoey goodness. I am highly impressed with that tool. I just wish it took up less storage space. The other win was my tomato coring tool. It does a fantastic job of getting the tough stem area out as well as any badly bruised or damaged parts. It is a quick and efficient tool
I did 25lbs of tomatoes, 2 large cloves of garlic, a good haul off my basil plant (~1 cup chopped) and a few tablespoons of dried italian spices. Next time I will wait till the sauce is closer to being cooked down to add the spice ingredients. The yield was initially over 10 quarts of tomato sauce. Once cooked down (8hrs!!!!!!!) to a good consistency, it was more like 3 qts. That is a lot of water to cook out… never again. I was going to can, but I think we can eat this as dinner for the week and freeze what little will be left over.
Lessons learned, that is what life is like.