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Oven Tomato Sauce (Sauce Tomate)


This oven tomato sauce (sauce tomate) is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. Simmering it in the oven creates a rich and savory sauce that can be used as a base for so many dishes!


  • 1-ounce salt pork, chopped
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
  • 16 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 34 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 crushed black peppercorns (see note)
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a stockpot over medium heat cook the salt pork until the fat is rendered.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, carrots. and celery to the pot and cook until the veggies start to soften. about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes (plus juices), chicken stock, and herbs. Bring the sauce to a boil and then transfer the pot to the oven. Cover and let it simmer in the oven for at least two hours.
  5. After the two hours, remove the pot from the oven and fish out the herbs (see note). Puree the sauce using an immersion blender or in batches with a stand blender.
  6. This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of sauce.


I wrapped the herbs and spices in cheesecloth, which makes it easy to remove before pureeing the sauce. If you don’t have cheesecloth you can just toss the herbs in the sauce, but be sure to fish out the bay leaf before pureeing. Also, I recommend eliminating the whole peppercorns and seasoning the sauce at the end with fresh ground pepper. You would not want to bite into a whole peppercorn!

Use the sauce as a base for many other recipes that call for tomato sauce. You can also make a big batch and freeze it for later use.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: French


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 127
  • Sugar: 8.5g
  • Sodium: 503.1mg
  • Fat: 5.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.3g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Protein: 5.1g
  • Cholesterol: 6.5mg

Keywords: oven tomato sauce, French tomato sauce recipe