Technically, in French cuisine there are five mother sauces, but there are really only three that matter to FFA and most modern-day cooks: brown (espagnole), white (béchamel) and tomato. These mother sauces form the foundation from which delicious soups, sauces and dishes spring. They add that and-then-some to whatever you’re cooking to deepen the flavors, making them memorable.
Today we’ll be making a nuanced tomato sauce that can be used in almost any way — except for in Italian dishes. I recommend my southern Italian marinara sauce for Italian dishes.
Harvest Tomato Sauce
Makes about two cups of finished sauce
- 1 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped or 1 lb canned Roma tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 small clove of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- A pinch of cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Using Fresh Tomatoes
- Place a medium-sized saucepan on the stove with enough water to cover the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
- In another medium-sized bowl add 4 cups of ice and pour over 2 cups of water.
- Score top and bottom of each tomato, removing its end. Drop tomatoes carefully into the boiling water and let parboil for 2 minutes, removing them to the ice bath with a slotted spoon. Peel the tomatoes and chop roughly.
- Then continue with directions and go to Number 2 below.
Directions for Using Canned Tomatoes
- Drain liquid from canned tomatoes and roughly chop them.
- Place olive oil and butter in pan over medium-love heat and add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, sugar, spices and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Run through a sieve to remove tomato seeds and garlic.
- Return to pan, correct seasonings and either store or use your tomato sauce!
Tip: For a delicious sauce for a steak or other beef, add some brown sauce to the tomato sauce.