Send Scrambled Eggs To New Heights With This French Sauce

If you enjoy ketchup on scrambled eggs, you're probably used to pearl-clutching from judgmental foodies who feel that this plebeian condiment should be saved for burgers and fries (or not used at all). They would, however, find it much more acceptable, even commendable, if you were to use a different type of tomato sauce known as aurora. Not only does it also have a French name (aurore), but it is actually based on any of several fancy French sauces such as béchamel, velouté, suprême sauce, or Allemande.

If you want to give la sauce aurore a try and are a ketchup fan, you'll probably like it just as much, if not better, on your eggs. You can start with our classic béchamel sauce recipe, which really isn't all that hard since it's basically a butter-flour roux thinned out with warm milk (so yes, cream gravy). Once the sauce is done, stir in a few tablespoons to ¼ cup of tomato puree, cook it for a minute, and voilà! C'est aurore.

One amusing aside (well, amusing to use, at least): While the word aurore is French for sunrise and may be meant as a poetic descriptor for how the tomato puree colors the white sauce, it reminds us of a disco-era cocktail. Yep, we're talking about the tequila sunrise, which is similarly named for the color-changing effect that grenadine has on orange juice.

Aurora sauce isn't just for scrambled eggs

While we're touting aurora as a sauce for scrambled eggs — and in truth, the pinkish color does look rather cheery on top of yellow — there are a number of other dishes it would complement. For one thing, it's basically a cross between cream and tomato sauces, which in our minds makes it perfect for pasta. Throw in some parmesan cheese, call it macaroni à la française, and you now have a new spécialité de la maison.

Aurora sauce also goes great on vegetables, and if you make the roux for the béchamel with oil instead of butter, it can even be vegan. In fact, just like ketchup, it makes a great dip for fries, so try it in our air fryer béchamel fries recipe in place of the eponymous sauce. You can also use it for seafood or chicken and if you do, you could make the sauce with a matching velouté, which is similar to béchamel but made with broth in place of milk. If you're up for a slightly more elaborate cooking project, you might also like to try making quenelles Lyonnaises. These choux pastry puffs are usually served in cream sauce but can be quite tasty with a touch of tomato.