How to Make a Delicious Provençale Sauce
Provençale sauce is basically a tomato based sauce with a few extra ingredients to give it an incredible fragrance and is great served with meats, chicken and seafood. There are lots of variations to this sauce but I suggest you come up with your own version using your favorite available fresh ingredients.
A Little History
Provencale sauce comes from Provence, France as the name suggests but tomatoes didn’t arrive until the end of the 1700s so early versions of this sauce didn’t include them. This “New World” food, the tomato, is now an important part of cooking in Provence but was not when the French city of Marseilles was founded by Greek colonists back in 600 BC.
Most of the recipes for this sauce you find in cookbooks include some combination of tomatoes, garlic, shallot or onion, butter or olive oil, and a dry white wine. Don’t be surprised if you also find recipes include lemon zest, capers, olives or mushrooms.
I suppose if you were in a hurry, you could start with one of your favorite commercial brand tomato sauce and doctor it up with some black olives, capers, mixed herbs and a little white wine. I would have no problem with this time saving technique but if fresh tomatoes are available, try to make this from scratch.
Tomato Conversion Chart
Some recipe you’ll find with call for fresh tomatoes while other recipes will have canned and this can get confusing. For example this recipe requires 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes but what if tomatoes are out of season or you want to use canned?
If you check out my tomato conversion chart, you’ll see one 35 ounce can of tomatoes equals 4 cups of tomatoes. You’ll also see 2 cups of chopped tomatoes equals 1 pound so a 35 ounce can should yield approximately 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes.