2 lb ripe tomatoes, 1 cup flour, 13 tablespoon butter,
4 eggs, separated, 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 bay leaf,
3 cups milk, a few pinches nutmeg, salt, pepper.
Wash the tomatoes. Drop them in boiling water for a moment, then peel and seed (1). Force through a sieve or food mill (2) and put the puree into a pot. Add the bay leaf and sugar (3). Reduce the sauce, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken (4). Now prepare the bechamel sauce: melt the butter (except for 1 tablespoon) in a saucepan, add the flour, and let it cook a moment.
Add salt and pepper and the hot milk. let the sauce boil for a few minutes. then add the reduce tomato sauce (5), first removing the bay leaf. Off the heat, add the egg yolks, one at a time (6), mix well, and season with nutmeg. Beat the egg whites till stiff, then fold them gently into the cooled sauce (7), stirring up from the bottom to the top (8). Butter a 2 quart souffle mold and lightly flour the interior.
Pour in the mixture (9) to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Smooth the top, place in a bain-marie, and put in the oven. Bake at 350 degree for about 40-50 minutes, or until slightly puffed. A cake needle inserted in the center should come out clean. Serve immediately (it is important to carry it to the table while it is still hot and puffy). it makes an elegant hot antipasto or first course.
Yield: 4-6 Servings