Cooking Louisiana - Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce - A Mother Sauce

Very simply, fresh tomatoes cooked down with herbs and spices until thickened. As with the other Mother Sauces this is the base from which other sauces are made. 

The following is a sample recipe to give you an idea of what it consists of.

8 lb ripe tomatoes
3-4 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 large onion 
6-8 garlic cloves, minced 
1 bay leaf 
2 tsp dried leaf thyme, crumbled 
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

Blanch and peel the tomatoes. Cut each in half horizontally. Hold each half over a bowl, cut side down, and squeeze to remove the seeds and juice. You use only the pulp for the sauce. Heat oil in a heavy, wide casserole over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft but not brown. Add garlic and cook 1/2 minute. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered over high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 45 minutes or until thick. Discard bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Use over pasta, chicken, seafood and you can imagine how many more.

Some of the variations (or children) of Tomato Sauce follow:

Creole - Tomato sauce cooked with fresh tomatoes, onion, celery and bell pepper with spices and herbs (used in shrimp creole)

Marinara - Your basic spaghetti sauce without meat added.

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