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How do you make your pizza sauce?

pepper_mil Feb 12, 2009 07:36 AM

Hi all, making pizza this weekend for a good friend who will be moving away soon. Friend loves pizza and has not eaten any in 2 years. Last time I made pizza I used reduced canned spaghetti sauce. Texture fine; flavour off so I want to avoid using canned sauce. I have access to decent tomato paste, however, and ok fresh tomatoes. Have dried oregano as well, and want a sauce that is not too wet or too sweet. Will be piling 'anything goes' on top. Thanks for any tips!

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    pcdarnell RE: pepper_mil Feb 12, 2009 07:47 AM

    I know you want to avoid cans, but I have had great success with using an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, a big clove of garlic, pressed, 1 Tbsp. dried oregano, and fresh ground pepper. The consistency is perfect and the flavor is really good and I always have all the ingredients on hand.
    This makes 2 12" pizza or some approximation thereof.

    4 Replies
    1. re: pcdarnell
      shanagain RE: pcdarnell Feb 12, 2009 08:24 AM

      I 2nd canned tomato sauce-as-base. It's a pantry meal for me, so basically garlic powder, oregano, basil, a little sugar if I feel the need.

      1. re: shanagain
        cheesecake17 RE: shanagain Feb 12, 2009 08:54 AM

        That's what I use too, but never any sugar. I use mashed up roasted garlic instead of raw garlic.

        1. re: cheesecake17
          shanagain RE: cheesecake17 Feb 12, 2009 08:57 AM

          Usually the sugar is only necessary if I get a crap-can of sauce, which does happen from time to time.

          1. re: shanagain
            cheesecake17 RE: shanagain Feb 12, 2009 08:59 AM

            Hm.. makes sense but I seem to have good luck with my sauce :)

            Sometime I take my mom's leftover tomato basil sauce and use that as pizza sauce.

    2. Channa RE: pepper_mil Feb 12, 2009 08:09 AM

      I really like the recipe from Peter Reinhart's American Pie cookbook. Since it yields a large amount, I make only one-fourth recipe, and for crushed tomatoes I substitute a small can tomato sauce plus a tablespoon or so of tomato paste for the proper consistency. I often increase the oregano, too. It's tangy and good, and no cooking.

      Scroll down to the recipe:


      3 Replies
      1. re: Channa
        aravenel RE: Channa Feb 12, 2009 08:12 AM

        It is good, but beware that it's very strongly flavored (garlic and herbs). If you prefer something more neutral, either tone down the herbs, or go the old-school route and just crush up some good canned tomatoes, add a pinch of salt, and spread them on the pie. That's my favorite way.

        1. re: aravenel
          Channa RE: aravenel Feb 12, 2009 09:04 AM

          Yes, it IS garlicky if made with fresh garlic, so I use the garlic powder option. I usually don't fancy garlic powder, but I think many pizzerias use it.

        2. re: Channa
          JoanN RE: Channa Feb 12, 2009 11:57 AM

          That recipe you linked to, Channa, is Reinhart's recipe for Crushed Tomato Sauce. I actually prefer his All-Purpose Marinara Pizza Sauce. Perhaps because it has additional oil, water, and vinegar, I don't find the fresh garlic, when I use it instead of the granulated and I often do, overwhelming at all.

          I mail-order Escalon’s 6-in1 tomato puree specifically for this sauce. You can use other purees, but I find the Escalon superior.


          Here's the recipe for the Marinara Sauce:

          To make about 6 cups

          28 ounces tomato puree
          1¾ cups water
          1 tablespoon dried parsley
          2 teaspoons dried basil
          1 teaspoon dried oregano
          ½ teaspoon dried thyme
          ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
          1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
          ¼ cup olive oil
          2 tablespoons granulated garlic powder or 10 cloves garlic, minced and lightly sautéed in the ¼ cup of olive oil
          ¼ cup red wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
          1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

          Combine all ingredients and store in the fridge for up to a week. Freezes well, too.

        3. k
          Kelli2006 RE: pepper_mil Feb 12, 2009 08:16 AM

          I puree a 14oz can of drained whole tomatoes, a small can of sauce and dried garlic, oregano, fennel seed and some hot pepper flakes. Simmer this mixture uncovered for 1 hour, and use. If it is too thick, you can thin it with red wine.

          1. m
            miss margie RE: pepper_mil Feb 12, 2009 08:35 AM

            I use 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes.
            1 small can tomato paste [ it is probely about 6 oz
            1 minced onion sauted
            dried oregano
            I let it simmer about 10 to 15 minutes
            I like it and so far nobody has ever complained. If I want garlic I use it as a stand alone ingredient.

            1 Reply
            1. re: miss margie
              Brklynbobby RE: miss margie Feb 12, 2009 09:55 AM

              You're on the right track here. However, I think you can forego the tomato paste and the onion. A little salt and the oregano will do the trick. I used to work in a pizzeria in New Haven (yes, that one) and that's how they do it.

            2. funklight RE: pepper_mil Feb 12, 2009 09:31 AM

              i hate peeling fresh tomatoes, so for pizza sauce i use a 15 oz can of diced and a can of tomato sauce.
              sweat some diced onion in olive oil for a few minutes (green pepper is also really good) and add some minced garlic. let that get fragrant (don't brown it) and dump in your cans. throw in some dried herbs (ground rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley, sage) and salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (to taste) and simmer covered for about 20 minutes, then puree to whatever consistency you want.
              pretty simple, and no added sugar.
              if you want to use your tasty paste, just omit the can of sauce and thin it all out with some chicken or veggie stock.

              1. m
                modthyrth RE: pepper_mil Feb 12, 2009 10:22 AM

                Drained, crushed San Marzano tomatoes mixed with nothing. Bright and absolutely delicious, and I'm not even a particular fan of tomatoes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: modthyrth
                  aravenel RE: modthyrth Feb 12, 2009 11:01 AM

                  This is the way I do it, with a pinch of salt added. Bright, simple, and delicious.

                  Not to mention very fast, and no cleanup!

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