This is part 1 for making a dish from La Varenne Pratique. To make the Baked Fennel with Lamb and Coriander dish I had to have 2 cups of French tomato sauce. As a result, I decided to do a tutorial on how to make this sauce. If you prefer watching my video you can find it here.
You will need 2 lbs of seeded and peeled tomatoes. Have you ever done this before? Like a lot of gourmet food it is not hard, it is just time consuming.
Cut at X on the bottom of the tomatoes.
Put them in boiling water for just a few seconds to loosen the skins.
Put in a water bath and then they will be easy to peel.
Remove the seeds and the green part and slice.
There will be some seeds here and there. No big deal.
Put together a bouquet garni, which is just a bunch of herbs tied together with butcher’s twine. I used basil, thyme, Italian flat leaf parsley and a bay leaf.
You will also need 2 tbsp of flour, 2 tbsp of butter, 1 1/2 cups of broth (I used chicken but if you have white veal stock go for it), a crushed garlic clove, 1 finely chopped carrot and 1 finely chopped onion. You may also require sugar and tomato paste.
In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and then add the onions and carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Then add the flour and cook for a minute or so. Add the stock slowly and then the tomatoes, garlic clove and bouquet garni. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
Check for seasoning. I added also 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of tomato paste. This sweetened the sauce and gave it more complexity.
Voila! Homemade from-scratch gourmet tomato sauce!
I have put mine in my freezer for when I am ready for part 2! Of course you could always make this sauce with a large can of already-peeled tomatoes if you prefer, which will save you time and money. I am glad I made it completely myself though. It was very rewarding to do the whole thing on my own.