This recipe is an elaboration on the Sauce Tomat, one of France’s five mother sauces, a list that includes Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, and Hollandaise. Giving a classic tomato sauce a southern kick, Sauce Provençal brings together summer ingredients and cooks them down slowly, making a delicious sauce to serve immediately with pasta, polenta, chicken, or fresh fish, for example. You can conserve this sauce, either by freezing or canning it, for a spot of sunshine during the colder seasons.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, then sauté garlic and onions over medium heat until onions begin to lightly sweat, 5–7 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook until they begin to soften and give their juice, 8–10 minutes. Add bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini. Stir in thyme and fennel seeds. Add dry white wine. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, 15–20 minutes for a thicker, chunkier sauce and 30–45 minutes for a thinner sauce. If you want the sauce to be liquid, you can use an immersion blender to mix the sauce once you’ve removed it from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If serving immediately, garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
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