Tomato sauce also known as Neapolitan sauce or Napoletana sauce in Italy is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine as described by Auguste Escoffier. It also refers to any variation of sauces based primarily on tomatoes.
The other four sauces include Espagnole Sauce, Bèchamel sauce, Bearnaise sauce, and Veloutè sauce.
Tomato sauce comes in many forms and textures. They can be homemade or can be processed commercially as a condiment also known as ketchup or just tomato sauce. In this article, we feature the sauce intended for use as part of a dish rather than the condiment varieties.
These sauces are very commonly used in pasta dishes, pizza, and meat dishes above all other dishes. Tomato sauce is unique in that rather than use a roux as a thickening agent, the tomato itself is used to thicken the sauce.
Tomato has a characteristic soft flesh that breaks down into the consistency required for thickening the sauce. It also contains plenty of juice and ideal quantities of acidity and sweetness. It offers the ability to change the texture by omitting the skin from the final dish or even making for a milder sauce by removing the seeds.
Tomato sauces are usually seasoned with salt and pepper in addition to an assortment of herbs and spices. Onion and garlic are popularly added to tomato sauce to bring out their best. Herbs such as Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, and Parsley marry well with this sauce. Cilantro, Cumin, Cloves, Turmeric, and other spices are also used to flavor derivatives of this sauce.
Other vegetables such as bell peppers, celery, and carrots also go well with this sauce. Stock and wine or water are frequently added to keep the desired moisture content.
The simplest form of this sauce simply involves seasoning tomatoes and then cooking with olive oil.
On the other hand, sauce tomate as it is known when referring to one of the five mother sauces in classical French cuisine consists of a roux of butter and flour with either tomato purée or fresh tomatoes. To that onion and garlic as well as the salt belly of pork is added. Salt, sugar, and black pepper are then added as seasoning.