Pizza Sauce Recipe
I’ve always stuck to the claim that you can make pretty good pizza at home. My critics argue that making “pizzeria” type pizza in a home environment is impossiblegiven that a home stove cannot reach the 900+ degree Fahrenheit temperature a proper wood burning stove can and, moreover, impart the appropriate flavor and heat to pizza dough (click here for our review of wood burning oven for home use). I think my critics are, in theory, correct but in a pragmatic sense entirely wrong. That is to say, of course one can make fantastic pizza at home without a wood burning oven.Making great pizza at home starts with good dough and you can find our homemade pizza dough recipe here . Another critical aspect to a great home pizza (along side oven temperature and preheating your pizza pan/tin) is the pizza sauce. Pizza sauce differs from the standard tomato sauce you would use on pasta and other dishes in the following ways:
- it contains less ingredients
- it’s fresher and brighter tasting
- it’s not cooked or cooked very little
- it’s consitency and texture can also vary (from simply crushed and very rustic San Marzano tomatoes to a simple passato)
- 1-2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes from Italy (if you can your own plum or roma tomatoes, as we do, you can certainly use your product, but San Marzano tomatoes tend to sweet and contain very little seeds). If you can find DOP certified San Marzano tomatoes even better; Denominazione di Origine Protetta (or Protected Destination of Origin) is a governing body in Italy that certifies certain products as being from a certain region in Italy.
- 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- In a large bowl, use your hands to squeeze the San Marzano tomatoes to get the correct consistency. You're not looking for a refined sauce, so some pulp and chunks are fine (if you feel uneasy about using your hands to break down the tomatoes, a large chef's knife works well). Next, pick out any basil leaves and tomato core, if present in the canned tomatoes. Move the tomatoes to a large pan or pot and cook down the ingredients (including the Kosher salt, dried oregano, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil)
- Some folks do not cook their pizza sauce but I cook the above ingredients for 8-10 minutes. If you happen to have a wood burning oven in your home you may not need to cook the tomatoes separately, as the intense heat from the oven will do a good job of mellowing out the tomatoes. That's it, your pizza sauce is ready.
One final word about pizza cooked in a wood burning stove versus a home oven fired by gas: the two pizza varieties are different food types with varying characteristics so enjoy each product for what is (in our view, and as you can imagine, home cooked food always takes the prize).