Quarter tomatoes and put them in a sauce pan along with olive oil.
Let these cook for about 15 minutes, until they have released a lot of their juices and are nice and soft. Then spoon them into a food mill (this was my first use of mine!) and mill them. Obviously that's not the right verb, but I think you get what I mean.
Meanwhile, sauté onion (I used a combination of yellow and red, because that's what was in my fridge) and garlic in olive oil until soft.
Put this sauce back into the cleaned out sauce pan and add in the onion/garlic mixture. Stir in thyme (it calls for fresh, but I only had dried), oregano, and crushed fennel seed. The recipe also called for a piece of dried orange peel but I didn't have any, and also that sounds weird. So, no orange peel, and also no bay leaves.
Let this simmer for 20 to 30 minutes and then add salt and pepper as needed.
This is good, but not really anything super special. It's just a tomato sauce.
tomatoes -- $5.50
Total Cost of Provencal Sauce de Tomates: $5.50