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best pizza sauce recipes?  RSS feed

 
                                        
Posts: 4
Location: Indian Valley, Idaho
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Looking for a really good tasting pizza sauce.  my husband likes his pizza but  it seems I can never make the sauce right.  I got the dough down but the sauce must be a secret recipe or something.  any ideas. 
 
Ken Peavey
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Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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I use grape jelly in my tomato sauce for meatballs and pizza.

You read that right: GRAPE JELLY.  It adds sweetness and kinda makes things stick to your mouth and tongue.  

You can add so many different things to a sauce to dress it up that books are written on the subject.  Sauces can be sweet, tangy, zesty, herbal, meaty, oily, mild, strong...where do you want to take it?   You can roast, broil, simmer, and caramelize ingredients until the cows come home.  

I took a few months off not too long ago, went north to visit folks, stayed with my sister.  She turned me on to a Pizza Stone.  I simply had to have one!  figure on $40 bucks.  If you don't have a brick oven, its the next best thing.  Also, look at a pizza peel.  Sister makes her dough in a bread machine, comes out fine, but she tends to not let it rise enough.  No matter.  
She has 2 teenage boys.  They'll eat anything you put in front of them and ask for more.  Dough is important, toppings are whatever you like, but its the sauce that sets your pizza apart.

You can grow and harvest your own tomatoes, selecting a blend of heirloom cultivars to serve as the foundation of your sauce.  I recommend Amish Paste, Red Fig, plus a brandywine to round it out.  Simmer long and slow for a day or two.  Reducing the water content is the objective.  Start with a full pot, take it down to half a pot at least.  Concentrate that flavor.  You can make the entire sauce with cherry tomatoes.  This will produce a sweet sauce.  Golden tomatoes have a unique appearance, but the sauce tends to head in the brown direction.  Roma tomatoes work well.  Your sauce would have fewer seeds and will be thicker sooner.   You can spend years developing a killer sauce.  Lets look at a shortcut.

There are dozens of tomato sauces on the market.  Some are produced to sell fast and cheap to people with no tastebuds.  Some are produced to taste pretty good, but the target is a wide demographic.  As a result, the spices are toned down, flavors are mild.  For storebought tomato sauces, check the label.  If tomato puree is listed, move on to the next maker.  Tomato puree tells me nothing about the water content other than it is probably boosted to increase production yield.  It's tomato paste with water added.  Watered down sauce does not make a good pizza.

To make tomato paste, simmer that pot of tomatoes down to about 10% of its starting volume, then run it through a Foley to get the seeds out.  That's 10 pounds of tomato flavor squeezed into a pint of sauce.  Tasty? Sure.  Too much?  Well, it can be.  A good sauce will have flavor, but it also needs texture.  Tomato puree and tomato paste will have a texture not unlike baby food.  

Try out a few sauces.  Find one that you like.  Then learn how to improve upon it.  Bertolli is pretty good, comes in a mason jar.  Prego is ok for a start.  Heinz, to me, is the same as ketchup.  No...its much worse than ketchup.  Hunts has a premium sauce with decent flavor, but it needs much work.  Starting with a commercial sauce can give you a decent base without simmering all day.  Now lets make it better.

Tomatoes are available in the produce section.  You can grab a few to add to your sauce.  Chop into chunks, toss them in the pot.  If you wish to remove the skins, dip them in boiling water for a few seconds, then get to chopping.  Alternately, there is a wide range of tomato products in cans-whole peeled, sliced, diced, chopped, slopped, dropped, drooped and gooped.  The bigger the chunks, the more texture your sauce will have.  Chunky sauce on a pizza is pretty good.  If you like it smooth, you can use the stuff straight from the sauce jar with no added tomato.  Whatever your texture preference, the next step is working on tomato flavor.  For tomato flavor, add tomato paste.  I put in a 6 oz can of paste for every pint of sauce.  You may wish to start with 6 oz of paste for every quart of sauce, then add more until you decide to skip the pizza and just eat the sauce.

HERBS
You've got the start of a good sauce.  Herbs can be added to develop the nose of the sauce.  Flavor does not come from taste buds, it comes from the nose.  Different herbs, and when they go into the sauce will make a difference in the end.  Oregano and basil are the most common herbs used.  Fresh is best.  For oregano, just pluck the leaves off the stem.  Basil can be chopped or left whole.  Oregano added early in the simmer will add more flavor as the aromatic oils are extracted.  Basil is the opposite, breaking down and becoming more mild the longer it is simmered.  If using dry herbs, you'll want to add them sooner than you would fresh in order to allow time for rehydration.  Thyme is flavorful, but can be overpowering.  Rosemary and tarragon might be something you want to try.  Herbs offer pungency, nuttyness, sweetness, aroma and character.  If you are new to working with herbs, bear in mind that limiting a recipe to a couple of herbs is the way to produce a distinctive entree.  Adding in all kinds of herbs makes slop.

GARLIC
Repeat after me: There is no such thing as too much garlic.
As you cook garlic, the flavor will become gentler.  If you like it to kick you in the head and make your eyes tear up, add it in late in the simmer.

 
Ken Peavey
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Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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Onion
To caramelize an onion, chop or slice it to whatever size you enjoy, put it on the stove with a bit of bacon grease (its the best).  Stir up the onions to coat as much as possible with whatever oil you are using.  Keep them on a low to medium heat for a long time.  Stir now and then to prevent burning.  You will want to remove the outermost layers which may be thin-these will reduce to a stiff paper in the process.  What you are doing is converting the complex carbohydrates into sugars, then breaking down the sugars to a simpler form.  This takes time and heat.  Too much heat, you will carbonize the onions.  This is bad.  If you have a golden brown, translucent onion which is sweeter than candy, you have done it well.  Now dump it in the sauce towards the end of the simmer.

Vegetables
All sorts of stuff can go into the sauce.  Peppers are excellent.  Try roasting them in the oven first to blister the skin.  Remove the skin, cut to your desired size, add to the sauce.  The sooner they are added, the more they will pervade the sauce.  Hot peppers will stay hot regardless of when you add them to the sauce.
Celery is possible but I don't much care for it.
Carrots will flavor the sauce.  The trick here is to shred them into fine pieces and only add a little.  Once carrot will more than service an entire pot.  Add them early so they have time to dissolve. 
Potatoes.  It is better if you don't add these.

Oil
Olive oil added to a sauce allows the flavors to mingle in a different manner than they would in only the water which comes from the tomatoes.  With some flavors, the oil can act as a solvent, extracting different and deeper compounds.  Oil tends to float on top where it serves as a barrier.  Some of the flavors involved are lightweight compounds that readily evaporate.  If you can trap them, you turn the sauce into pure Love.

Cheese
Parmesan is good.  Romano is better.  Asiago is insane.  Hard cheese is the way to go.  Use a nucklebuster to shred it finely.  Being hard cheeses, they will need a little more time to melt and blend into the sauce.  Figure on adding this around the middle of your simmer.  Different cheeses can be added, but you want to use a hard cheese.  Swiss is ok in small amounts.  Do not add soft cheese, gubmint cheese, or processed american cheese food product.  The grated parmesan in a jar will get you by in a pinch. 

The Simmer
When the sauce is just tomatoes, the simmering reduces the fruit into sauce.  The longer you simmer, the more you break down the tomatoes.  You can add more tomatoes at different times during the simmer.  This will give you improved texture.  When you have the sauce close to where you want it, thats the time to start adding other ingredients.  When the last of the ingredients have been added, figure on another half an hour.  Low temperature is the key here-you are not boiling it into a stew.  If the heat is too high, you run the risk of scorching the batch.  Stir the pot regularly.  If the bottom starts to build up, dont hesitate to change the pot.  Being a long slow simmer, a thick pot is best to move the heat around.  Tomato sauce is acidic.  Aluminum is not advised as it will react with the sauce and may impart a metallic flavor.  I recommend a good thick stainless steel pot.  A lid is handy during the last part of the simmer, when all ingredients have been added.  The rest of the time, leave the lid off to allow water to escape.  A deep pot will keep the splatter contained.  If the pot is not deep enough, there are splatter screens on the market.
 
Jordan Lowery
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Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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what source of tomatoes are you using now? can you get fresh tomatoes?
 
                                        
Posts: 4
Location: Indian Valley, Idaho
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well my tomatoes in my garden are not ripe yet but will be soon.  I have different varieties I share with someone else. and they planted them so I should go ask them.  i think she uses most of them for making salsa.
thanks for the recipe it looks very promising and good 
 
Leila Rich
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Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I prefer quick and basic sauces on pizza. For me, it's very important that they're thick enough to basically 'wipe' over the base. I can't handle soggy pizza!
Tomato sauce: saute onion in olive oil. Add chopped/pureed tomatoes, fresh, canned, whatever. Salt, pepper, a little sugar if liked, oregano, fresh or dried.
Cook on medium heat till water's evaporated (note, no added water...)
I add garlic right at the end, since I like it with a bit of bite. The earlier it's added, the milder it'll be.
I leave the skins in.
 
Jordan Lowery
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Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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i prefer to strain the juice out rather than cook it out. the tomato is supposed to cook on the pizza.

we just take fresh tomatoes, skin them, dice them up in a big bowl and give a quick smash with a potato smasher to desired texture. next mix chopped herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, etc..) and a little bit of salt. some people like a little olive oil as well, i don't add it.

pour it into a strainer with a bowl under to catch the juice. let it drain slowly if you can so the flavors mend together. when the tomato sauce is to a thicker consistency its ready for use on pizza.
 
                            
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In order to save time we use tomato paste instead of fresh tomatoes to prepare the pizza sauce. The paste is diluted with  half cup of water to which a tea spoon of corn starch is mixed in. Depending on the concentration of tomato paste available in your area the water quantity would have to be varied.

This sauce needs to be seasoned with a tea spoon each of vinegar and sugar and a quarter tea spoon each of ground cumin, cliantro and salt. Adding a pinch of garlic salt or a clove of crushed fresh garlic is great. You may vary the seasoning according to taste.

The entire mix has to stirred and simmered on first medium then low heat for about ten minutes to prepare the sauce.
 
Jordan Lowery
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Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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tomato paste.....gross....
 
                                              
Posts: 2
Location: united kingdom
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do make any other dishes from italy other than pizza? Pasta in tomato sauce,if so does your husband like that.Why not cheat! use the sauce you know he likes from any kind of meal that you make for him and put that on his pizza,or use that as a base sauce that you can add to.keep things simple,small changes can be out of this world when it comes to food and flavour.Try ,and have fun trying.!!!
 
Travis Halverson
Posts: 120
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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I start with a tomato sauce that tastes good plain.  If I can't drink a bit of it, I don't like to use it.

Whisk into it a lot of tasty olive oil.  I first started using half tomato sauce and half olive oil.  More recently, I've reduced the amount of olive oil because the super thin crust I make was letting a lot of the wet sauce seep through and smoke in the oven.

Then add anything you like, plus salt.
 
Ken Peavey
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Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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Is this the pizza dough 43740 to which you refer?
 
joseph stanski
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http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Homemade-Pizza-Sauce this is the only recipe I have tried and I have continued using it for a while unadjusted. Obviously you can replace some of the stuff with fresh ingredients if its in season though!
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
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hi all,

This is my first post here. And pizza sauce is a subject near and dear.

This has to be the best pizza sauce recipe i've ever tried. Its great using the Italian tomato puree, but in the interest of the the whole home grown/local grown I would make your own puree using organic Roma tomatoes. I've also use dry vermouth in stead of white wine and its equally awesome.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aiMqJ3OUAZg

" If I can't drink a bit of it, I don't like to use it." I believe I would actually snort this sauce.

Enjoy
 
Bert Touma
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I prefer to use an uncooked tomato sauce on pizza. The sauce will cook with the rest of the topping.

To make a simple tomato sauce, use a hand mixer, potato masher or, better still, your hands, to mash a can of peeled tomatoes into a sauce. Drain some of the the juice.

Make sure to try and get the right consistency – neither too thick, nor too watery. You want your sauce to spread easily on the pizza dough, without making it soggy. If you like a lot of sauce on your pizza, make it a little thicker.
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1413
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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1/4 to 1/3rd garlic the rest tomato. Blend. Add pepper and salt to taste. I like celery seed as well.
The only thing better is a garlic paste with a bit of olive oil, and fresh slices of homegrown tomatoes.
 
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