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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Wash tomatoes. Remove cores; cut into quarters.
Place the tomatoes in an 8- or 10-quart heavy kettle or pot. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Press the tomatoes through a food mill; return to kettle. Discard seeds and pulp.
In a medium saucepan, combine water, onion, bell pepper and, if desired, mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until the onion and pepper are soft, stirring frequently. Add to the tomato sauce in the kettle. Stir in garlic, parsley, brown sugar, fennel seeds (if desired), salt, basil, oregano, marjoram and black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Measure and note the depth of the mixture in the kettle. Simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours or until reduced by half, stirring frequently. (The depth of the mixture should be half of the original measure.)
To can the sauce: Ladle the hot sauce into hot, clean quart or pint canning jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims; adjust the lids. Process filled jars in a pressure canner, at 10 pounds pressure for 25 minutes for quarts or 20 minutes for pints. Allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove the jars from the canner; cool on wire racks.
To freeze the sauce: Place the kettle of sauce in a sink filled with ice water to cool. Ladle the sauce into wide-top freezer containers, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Seal and label; freeze for up to 10 months.