This Recipe uses:
- Can of whole peeled tomatoes
- Chicken stock
- Olive oil
- Variety of dried herbs (eg. thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, or bay leaf)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- (Optional) pinch of espelette pepper or cayenne pepper
- (Optional) chopped onions
- (Optional) crème fraiche or heavy cream
Homemade tomato provençale sauce could change your life. No more artificial sauces with mysterious ingredients that nobody can make heads or tails of. With firm tomatoes, fresh herbs, olive oil and garlic, this simple recipe can be prepared in just 30 minutes or less.
And the great thing about sauce provençale is its proven versatility. You can use this tomato provencal sauce recipe for anything you want! From pasta to a pizza, or topping off an omelette, baked chicken or fish, you can use this sauce on just about anything. (And you can make it as spicy as you want!)
The simplest tomato sauce consists just of chopped tomatoes cooked down with olive oil, seasoned with salt, or other herbs or spices, it is then simmered until the sauce caramelises and melds into a beautiful harmony. And there are various varieties as well, as the tomato is quite a hardy ingredient.
There are a lot of spices on the to make a tomato provencal sauce, but in essence this is a French bouquet garni. You don’t need to have every single one, a French bouquet garni involves mixing and matching what you have.
☞ READ MORE: French starter: Tomatoes à la provençale
The Mother Sauce
The basic tomato sauce might sound basic, but it is one of the five mother sauces of classical French cooking. “Sauce tomate” as it is called in French, is one of 5 mother sauces of French cuisine.
It was codified by famed French chef Auguste Escoffier in the early 20th century, consisting of lardons, onions, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and surprisingly a teaspoon of sugar.
As anyone who has ever had a plate of steaming pasta with tomato sauce knows, that little tomato is one incredibly versatile vegetable. (Or is it a fruit?) Either way, there are a thousand different ways to make a tomato sauce.
The provençale tomato sauce is one that takes that tomato and combines it with ingredients that are popular in provençale cuisine like olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. It is a lighter sauce than the classic sauce tomato, and can be prepared in a spicier version.
Other variations of tomato sauce are:
- Creole: tomato sauce with white wine, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, and red bell peppers
- Portugaise: tomato sauce with garlic, onions, sugar, salt, parsley, and peeled tomatoes
- Marinara (Italian): tomato sauce with garlic, onions, and herbs
- Sauce Vierge: a type of French salsa with diced tomatoes and spices.
These are of course the versions that are popular in France and Europe, but many other cultures have their own variations.
Frequently asked questions
What to serve with provençale tomato sauce?
Pasta is always a favorite with a provençale tomato sauce, but you can also serve it with baked chicken or fish like salmon or codfish.
What drinks to serve with it?
A local wine from the region of Provence will be lovely with sauce tomate provençale to keep with the theme. Try a rosé from Côtes de Provence for chicken or fish, or if you prefer, a light Côtes du Rhône. You can read more about French wines here.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, provençale tomato sauce can easily be kept in the freezer. Prepare a sauce that is thicker than usual, and wait until the sauce is completely cold before putting it in an airtight glass jars or plastic containers designed for freezing. (The container will have a snowflake which signifies that it can be frozen.)
The entire jar must be thawed out when using, and cannot be refrozen, so keep each portion of the sauce small.
- 50g butter
- 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock (low sodium)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- variety of dried herbs of provence (eg. thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf)
- teaspoon of freshly grated pepper
- pinch of salt
- Pinch of espelette pepper or cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions
- 3/4 cup of liquid crème fraiche (heavy cream)
- Peel the garlic and crush in a mortar and pestle.
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan at low heat.
- Sauté the garlic (and onions) in the saucepan until they turn lightly translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil into the saucepan and cook for around 10 minutes at medium temperature.
- Add the optional heavy cream and stir in. Let cook for another 10 minutes.
- Season to your liking with salt and pepper and whisk until it is well blended.
- Serve while warm.
Adjust the espelette pepper for spiciness, depending on personal preference.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 786mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g
Note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for informational purposes only.
If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French recipes that are easy to prepare. Bon appétit and à bientôt !