This is going to sound crazy, but I found a great tomato sauce recipe a few weeks ago online somewhere - I forget where off the top of my head, but boy did it turn out great. The only ingredients were 1x 28oz can of tomatos (I usually get the $5 a can Italian ones), 5T of butter, and a half a onion.
Put the tomatoes in a pot with the butter and the half of an onion. Simmer for 45min - 1hr or so (crushing the tomatoes periodically). When the time is up, fish out the half of the onion, and throw it away. Add a pinch of salt if you like, and it turns out great.
Luckilly, I don't have any Italian family, because they would probably disown me for cooking tomato sauce like that, but hey - it tastes great, is simple, and is quick enough to do after work on a weeknight.
I don't, however, have any experience in canning it, so I can't say if it would be suitable for that purpose.