Updated: Sep 1
The French are well known for their sauces and their skill in using them to enhance their dishes. Today we explore Sauce Tomate, one of the French Mother Sauces from Auguste Escoffier- the founder of modern cooking and eating.
Auguste Escoffier was a pioneer in French cuisine about 100 years ago. Our recipe below is modeled on his original recipe from the late 1800s. You are cooking a piece of history with modern touches!
Now, what is this mother sauce thing? A mother sauce is a sauce that can be used to enhance a dish in its original intended form. It can also be used to make other sauces. Just think of how many sauces and recipes call for tomato sauce!
Our recipe is significantly different than what you'd find in a store out of a jar. I will say that sauce from a glass jar generally tends to be better than a can. However, after you cook this recipe, it does not come close. Does it take a little bit of time? Yes. Are the steps complicated? No.
With summer arriving, it's prime time to get out into your gardens and plant some tomatoes for this recipe! The benefits and comparisons I can make between this sauce and a supermarket sauce are innumerable. I should warn you; this sauce will make your house smell stunning. Forget a candle; whip up a batch of this sauce!
When you make this recipe, you can add meatballs or ground beef to make the meal a little heartier. I will say, though, that the sauce is lighter in texture. It has incredible flavor, but the sauce isn't as thick as you may be used to. But this is the perfect moment to think about what tomato sauce should be. Rather than drown your pasta in a thick sauce, try this lighter sauce and focus more on the flavors.
The French often eat smaller food portions, but their portions are perfectly cooked with fantastic flavor profiles. Why not go for a smaller dish with a more flavorful sauce? This is the perfect recipe for it! Look at the quality versus quantity of food. Pair this recipe with fresh bread, a salad, or another favorite dish. But don't limit Sauce Tomate to pasta; try it elsewhere as well!
Now for the science behind tomatoes. Once seen as a poisonous plant till the 19th century due to their relation to nightshade- an actual poisonous plant, the humble tomato first started as small berries in the South American desert. Despite its wrongful classification, the tomato was domesticated in Mexico and became the second most popular vegetable in the U.S.
Tomatoes pair exceptionally well with meat, but why is that? They have many Glutamic acid and sulfur aromas similarly found in meat. But that's not all these vegetables offer in flavor—the sugars and acidity help to enhance their taste hence why we have bacon in this recipe.
The more time a tomato has on a vine, the more its flavor develops. Grocery stores often have their tomatoes picked green and ripened chemically. In this case, they lack Furaneol- a chemical that gives off sweet and savory caramel flavor. This is why tomatoes grown in your backyard have so much more taste! If you're making this sauce with canned tomatoes, I recommend looking at the ingredients to ensure calcium hasn't been added. This is often added to keep the cell walls of the tomato intact and, in the end, cause the sauce to be less smooth.
And, of course, there are numerous health benefits to tomatoes. One of which is that it contains Tomatine. This binds to cholesterol, reducing our body's intake/ absorption! Who knew?
We can't wait for you to try this recipe; it won't compare to store-bought sauces! Easy to make, makes your house smell amazing, and tastes even better; what's not to love?
"The Flying Chef"
Spaghetti With French Sauce Tomato
Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: ~30-40 Minutes Inactive Time: ~2 Hours Total Time: ~2 Hours 30 Minutes
1. 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
2. 2 Bacon Strips- Diced
3. 1/2 Cup Carrots- Roughly Diced
4. 1/2 Cup White Onion- Roughly Diced
5. 1 Bay Leaf
6. 1 Sprig Rosemary
7. 1/3rd Cup Flour
8. 3 1/4th lbs. Fresh Tomato's
9. 2 1/4th cup Chicken Stock
10. 3 Garlic Cloves- Crushed
11. 1 tsp Salt
12. 1/4t tsp Pepper
13. 1 tsp Vinegar
14. 2 tsp Sugar
15. 5 Basil Leaves
1. 4 Eggs
2. 3 1/3rd Cup Flour
3. Pinch of Salt
4. 4 tsp Olive Oil
1. Fill a large pot with water and boil over high heat. Add in the tomatoes and let boil until the skin starts to crack. Turn off the heat, drain the water, and crush the tomatoes. Preheat your oven to 325 Degree Fahrenheit
2. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a saucier pan or large pot. Add in the diced bacon until it begins to take on color. Add in the carrots, onion, Bay Leaf, and Rosemary. Sprinkle the flour evenly while stirring to combine. Cook this mixture until it is light brown.
3. Add the crushed tomatoes to the flour mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Add garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, and Basil in the stock. Stir till it boils.
5. Place a lid on the pan or pot and place in the oven for 1.5 hours.
6. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and re-boil on the stove. Add one tablespoon of butter and stir till melted.
1. In a large bowl, add in your flour and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well. Add the salt and oil.
2. Gradually mix the flour into the eggs in the center. In other words, start in the middle and work your way out by slowly adding flour.
3. Once combined, knead the dough until it is soft and elastic. Wrap it in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Once rested, roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until it’s about the thickness of a penny- keep in mind it will double in size once you cook it, so thinner is best. You can also use a mixer attachment.
5. Cut the pasta into thin strips—Cook in boiling salted water for roughly 4 minutes or until done.
Recipe By: Chef Olson Thewoodenspoonchefs.com
Did you make this recipe? Take a picture and tag on instagram at the_wooden_spoon_chefs
Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix till the pasta is covered. Finish with a slice of warm bread, parmesan and basil!