A Warm Tomato Sauce

This tomato sauce is briskly cooked to avoid any bitter taste, and is delicious served with Pâtes aux Oeufs, Papeton d’Aubergines, or Beignets de Légumes.

Poured into a jar and covered with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, it will keep for a week in the refrigerator.


  • 2 onions, minced
  • 5 pounds very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, oregano, or tarragon
  • bouquet garni
  • 3 lumps sugar
  • 10 fresh basil leaves (omit if unavailable —do not use dried basil)
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Squeeze the minced onions in a towel to remove excess moisture.

Quarter the tomatoes and pass them through a Mouli food mill.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the onions, half of the garlic, the parsley, thyme, and bouquet garni. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Place the tomato purée in a heavy-bottomed pan over a moderate flame. Add the sugar and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Pass through a sieve to get rid of the excess liquid.

Pour the thickened tomato purée into the onion-and-herb mixture and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the flame and add the basil, the remaining garlic, salt, and pepper. Discard the bouquet garni.


You may add ¼ cup of dry white vermouth to the sauce while it is simmering for the last 5 minutes.