Homemade Pizza - sauce tips please
- pancake Oct 31, 2007 10:13 PM
So, I've decided to attempt making pizza from scratch, crust and all.
Any tips on how to make a good sauce? What do I use?
And rec's for toppings and cheeses are always welcome.
I got a recipe for sauce somewhere, but I don't know where. but it's real simple and SO good. Saute a few onions and garlic in a little oil, add canned crushed tomatoes, and cook down slowly. Add fresh or dried oregano and basil at the end. I prefer fresh, but you could do dried in a pinch. Have fun with your adventures in pizza!
Depending on our mood, we've been known to use caponata (homemade)instead of tomato sauce. when I make tomatoes sauce for pizza (different than for pasta) I drain most of the liquid form crushed tomatoes, saute onion and garlic, and add some sun dried tomato (chopped up) into the sauce. you want the sauce to be as thick as possible because the less moisture on top of the pie the better. I also like to use smoked oysters on the pie along with the sauce and moz. Good luck with your experimentation.
Thanks to suggestions from rosewater I make the most delicious pizza. I buy dough from a bakery in the Bronx, but making your own, great! Here's what I top with:
Dice pancetta and render fat out. Remove to paper towels.
Sautee lots of thinly sliced spanish onions in the pancetta fat. Let them cook a long time till they are very soft and caramelized.
Meanwhile, halve cherry or grape tomatoes and toss with thinly sliced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on foil on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees until as soft as you want them, then remove from oven.
On the dough, spread the caramelized onions, roasted tomato-garlic mixture, and the pancetta. Put several slices of fresh mozzarella on top (must be fresh, not the gooey stuff in store packages...I get this in the Bronx, too).
Bake at 500 degrees till the dough is cooked and the cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and grate some parmesan on top, snipped fresh basil, and drizzle some of your best olive oil over it all. The best pizza I have ever had!
(Smoked oysters...mmmm...I'll have the pizza to myself...)
1) Practice simply until you get the basics -- crust is key, simple sauce, and cheese. Think pizza Margherita. (sp?)
2) Letting the dough sit for a loooong time in the fridge -- hours and hours -- helps to develop the flavor.
3) Be sure to let the dough rest at room temp. so it can relax before trying to "strech".
4) I prefer a fresher sauce that is not cooked long, if at all. I take a can of Muir Glen fire roasted cubed tomatoes, drain the juice (save and drink; it also makes a neato if weird Bloody Mary), and spread the cubes around. Not really a sauce. If you like a cooked sauce -- and sometimes I do -- jnk's sounds great.
5) Some toppings are great piled on -- I love mushrooms, all types -- others, like anchovies, are better applied sparingly. Let your palate be your guide.
6) Cheese. I prefer fresh mozzarella with some part skim. Fresh can be kind of wet. It's fun to play around with others, but the KISS approach is helpful.
7). If you can, at some point use a sourdough for the crust.
8) One of my favorite crusts uses 1/3 white, 1/3 W.W.,and 1/3 rye.
9) Here's an unusual one: No sauce. Drained and squeezed sauerkraut, a little caraway seed, and swiss cheese. Sausage lovers might add some. Hmmm..maybe corned beef -- kind of a Rueben pizza...
Basic sourdough isn't hard to do, just time consuming. Here's a link:
I like a strong sourdough flavor; the dough should be fairly loose for easier stretching. I suggest making it fairly thin and letting it proof some before baking, because it rises more slowly.
And I thought I was the only one! Every year on 3/17 I make a reuben pizza, with the thousand island dressing. I add a little mozz along with the swiss to give it that pizza gooey goodness, and a sprinkling of dried oregano on top just before putting it on the stone. I wait the whole year before making it again, and am dying for it each year.
I usually just drain a can of "italian style" stewed tomatoes and sprinkle those over the crust.