Blanch four ripe tomatoes for a few seconds. Peel, then remove all seeds, and dice. Gently toast one star anise and half a teaspoon of fennel seeds, then ground to powder. Sweat one large shallot, finely diced, in olive oil until soft. Add one or two cloves of garlic, pureed or very finely crushed. Add the spices, add a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Add the tomatoes and a teaspoon of tomato puree. Cover with a cartouche (a sheet of greaseproof paper), and simmer gently for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until you’ve got a silky, smooth, rich and thick tomato fondue.
(Michel doesn’t use the fennel and star anise spicing, but we find it adds depth and an interesting accent.)