See also: Grand Sauce Article; Sauce Recipes
Tomato Sauce Recipe
Tomato is a Johnny-come-lately to French cuisine. This is because they originated in the New World and even after being introduced to Europe, they were thought poisonous. Gradually they made their way into the kitchen.
There are many approaches to making tomato sauce from a simple and quick marinara to more complex and deeply flavored concoctions. Ingredients, cooking times, and the consistency of the final product all vary. However, a few caveats are in order. First, if you plan on using fresh tomatoes, make sure that’s what they are: as fresh and as ripe as possible. It is better to use canned tomatoes than inferior or unripe fresh ones. Second, it’s a good idea to remove the seeds as they can add a bitterness to the sauce. Finally, do not overcook the tomatoes as it erodes their fresh flavor.
Many people prefer canned tomatoes because they are always canned in their ripe state, are already peeled, and are cheaper than an equivalent amount of fresh ones. I prefer canned whole tomatoes. I find they always taste better than the crushed, diced, pureed, etc.
· 1 (35-oz.) can whole plum tomatoes
· 1 carrot, small dice
· 1 celery stick, small dice
· 1 small onion, diced
· Olive oil, as needed
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 3 garlic cloves, chopped
· 4 oz. red or white wine
· 8 oz. beef/veal stock
· Handful fresh chopped parsley
Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Split open each tomato over the strainer and remove the seeds. Place the seeded tomatoes in another bowl. Reserve both the juice in the first bowl from seeding the tomatoes and the juice left in the can.
Sweat the carrot, celery and onion in olive oil with some salt and pepper on low/medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and cook one more minute.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Add all of the reserved tomato juices and the stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce by at least half. A little more won’t hurt.
Add the reserved tomatoes and cook only 5-10 minutes on low heat. With an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Finish with the parsley and additional salt and pepper if needed.
Add meat to tomato sauce for a classic Bolognese sauce.