Thursday, August 30, 2012

Julia Child’s Coulis de Tomates A La Provencale (Tomato Sauce with Mediterranean Flavors)

As a follow-up to my last post about Julia Child’s Blackberry Clafoutis dessert, here’s another of her recipes I tried with great success: her Coulis de Tomates A La Provencale (Tomato Sauce with Mediterranean Flavors). Both recipes were included in a New York Times article to commemorate what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday. It turned out astoundingly flavorful, transforming the tomatoes, herbs, onion and garlic into a rich red sauce, a fantastic combination of flavors that showed off the best of the vegetables.

Some adaptations and notes:

- The recipe creates enough sauce for 2 lbs. of pasta. We used fettucine.

- Instead of using cheesecloth for an herb bouquet, I used string to tie the parsley and thyme sprigs together. When the sauce was almost done, I simply removed the bundle, along with the bay leaf and orange peel, before serving.

- We added grated Parmesan on top right before eating, and would definitely do it again.

- I skipped the saffron threads.

- I used vine-ripened tomatoes. Home grown would be even better.

- It took two rounds in the Cuisinart food processor to make the tomato pulp. I placed the quartered tomatoes directly into the processor bowl instead of through the tube. I didn’t worry about removing the tomato skins or seeds.

- While most of the time on the stove top the sauce didn’t look like it was going to become rich, thick and red, near the end it all melded together, transforming into a vibrant and bright concoction.

The sauce takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to make, a worthy investment of time to create a meal that’s sure to be a big hit. Bon appetit!

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