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Your favorite pizza sauce recipe?

Hi Friends.

I am a miserable failure at making homemade pizza. If it's not a dough fail, it's a bake fail, or a sauce fail. Most recently I made a cheese pizza and used my own marinara for the sauce. Well it tasted awful, like there should have been spaghetti on that pizza, not a pizza sauce at all.

I have had minimal success with canned ones at the store, (have used pesto & sliced fresh tomatoes and they work pretty well) but would love to hear your thought or recipes of sauces you've made and taste great on pizza. Mainly looking for the traditional tomato sauce but welcome any ideas you may have.

Thanks for your input!

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  1. I found this on Chowhound a couple of years ago and never looked back. An 8 oz can of tomato sauce mixed with a 6 oz can of tomato paste. I saute a little onion and garlic and add the tomato paste and cook that for a bit. Add dried herbs of choice then mix in tomato sauce. I would just add your tomato sauce instead of the can.

    4 Replies
    1. re: King of Northern Blvd

      Cool, that's sounds easy enough. It tastes like pizza sauce and not pasta sauce, right? No need to add sugar or acid?

      1. re: Phurstluv

        the secrets:
        - toasted ground fennel seed
        - good-quality dried Italian oregano
        - grated parm stirred into the sauce
        - a touch of anchovy paste (this one's optional, but i love what it does to the flavor)

        1. re: Phurstluv

          It does taste like pizza sauce and not pasta sauce. I never found the need to add sugar as I like it a bit tart from the paste.

          1. re: King of Northern Blvd

            I find that my best pizzas are one where I place uncooked sliced tomatoes on the dough, other items and cover with cheese.

      2. Hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes. Or the crushed tomatoes with basil from Fresh and Easy is an excellent (and much less expensive) sub. That's it. Delicious, simple, beyond easy. Definitely traditional.

        1 Reply
        1. re: modthyrth

          I use those tomatoes to make my marinara. Just tomatoes, onion, garlic & paste. Still tastes like pasta sauce to me.

        2. Personally, I've got to agree with Modthyrth above, and so does Jeff Varasano (long read, but he discusses sauce a little over halfway down the page) - and his tip about not cooking the tomatoes before topping the pie really makes a big difference.

          http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

            I will have to try that, maybe it's the not cooking that's the secret.

            1. re: Phurstluv

              Go for it - nothing ventured, nothing gained.
              I should probably point out that not warming the sauce will affect how the cheese melts, so you might have to compensate by moving the pie towards the end to get a little time under the broiler.

          2. I like to bring several minced cloves of garlic to heat in a few tablespoons of oo. When they start to sizzle I add 1/4 cup or so of red wine, a teaspoon or two of an Italian herb blend and half a jar of simplest store bought spaghetti sauce. I let it simmer until it thickens up a bit and cool before making my pizza.

            It really tastes pretty authentic if what you're going for is a mom and pop pizza place flavor (which I am)

            1. 99% of the time I use a raw sauce of simply canned whole tomatoes that I drain and crush/puree (or use a tomato passata which has only tomatoes and salt). I sometimes add a bit of salt or a garlic clove worked into a paste but thats about it.