Mastering the Art of French Cooking is and will be one of my forever go-to reference cookbooks. I love to read recipes and then improvise with other similar ingredients on hand. I arrived home the other day with 8 lbs. of San Marzano tomatoes excited to do some canning. Tomato season this year has extended longer than usual due to a warm Fall and the prices per pound were reduced now that the season is coming to an end. When canning tomatoes, I tend to like to keep it simple with just a touch of flavor which gives me flexibility to create soups and sauces that will pair well with the dish of the moment; whether it be a curry, Thai, Italian or French. BTW….So excited to see the new movie about Julia Child released November 12, 2021!
PROVENÇAL TOMATO SAUCE
Yields about 1 quart
Time – 1 1/2 hours
8 lbs. Tomatoes washed and quartered – I like the marzano for this recipe.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely minced yellow onion
5 garlic gloves minced
1 large pepper finely chopped
1 cup of finely chopped celery
Kosher salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
Herb bouquet – 8 sprigs parsley, 4 sprigs of thyme, 4 sprigs of oregano.
(or just add in 2 tablespoons of dried herbes de Provence)
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed – I used fresh fennel from the Farmer’s Market
Large pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon of grated lemon (I love Myer lemon).
1 dozen coriander
1 small can tomato paste
In a large stock pot heat olive oil, add onion, celery and peppers.
Sauté until onions are translucent, add in garlic, bay leaf, herbs, 1 cup of water and tomatoes.
Simmer for approx. 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally and add a little water if it is getting dry.
Remove from heat and discard bouquet & bay leaf.
With an immersion blender purée the tomato mixture adding in the lemon and tomato paste 1 tablespoon at a time till you have a beautiful creamy and thick consistency. Salt & Pepper to taste.
Options to store – freeze in sterilized glass jars which is easy or do the traditional canning process which I love to do as I have a small freezer and I love sharing the creation with friends. To can you MUST use currently sterilized jars with new lids.
Pour sauce into warm jars leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Tightly screw on lids and place in a large pot of boiling water.
The water should cover the jars completely. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
To test if they are completely sealed, press on lid to make sure it does not spring back when touched.
Don’t forget to label with content and date 😊 (I usually do a 6 month expiration date.)
Not that any of it will last that long!
Here is a link to safely can tomatoes.