Mmmm, Pizza! Ahhhh!
The thing about Pizza Sauce is that everyone can go to the store, buy a jar off the shelf, and make a pretty passable pizza if you have a decent crust and some good cheeses.
If you do go with the jars, the best one I ever found was a black and white (mainly) label from a company just two towns over from where I grew up. Medford, NJ. Some of the Italians moved out of Philly after the Second World War, settled in the pines in NJ and made some pizza sauce.
But. It's jarred, and therefore "not fresh".
You can't just use Mom's Spaghetti Sauce either. The spices are wrong. I don't know how to describe that other than to say that Pizza Sauce should be slightly sweet, thick, and not runny at all. If the sauce is "hot" with a peppery burn, it's done wrong - this is Italian cuisine and not Tex-Mex. If it is not thicker than Spaghetti Sauce consistency, the water in the sauce will stop the crust from cooking properly.
Nobody likes a soggy bottom in a pizza.
The original recipe for a pizza was purported to be nothing more than sun dried tomatoes on a slab of dough with some mozzarella cheese on top, and then baked quickly in a very hot oven. Get the bottom crispy.
That goes for Sicilian as well as Neapolitan pizzas.
So along with the quest for the perfect pizza crust, I'm looking for the perfect pizza sauce. When I said the other day that I wanted to make a Pizza For The Weekend, I was told that my sauces weren't up to snuff. My response was simply:
"Find me a better recipe".
This is Better. It's not Perfect. But there is no such thing as a perfect pizza sauce unless you make the effort to make it yourself and really hone that sauce to what you want - because it is what YOU want. Besides, my standards for "Perfect" are high.
Extremely and perhaps Obsessively high.
Never Mind All That, Here's the recipe we have settled on:
- 4 Teaspoons Olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter (optional or sub more olive oil if you're being healthier)
- 8 Cloves of Garlic, minced - going to roast it first next time
- 3.5 Teaspoons Onion Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 Teaspoon Fresh Basil,
- 2 Teaspoon Fresh Oregano, chopped *1 Dried
- 1 large can San Marzano Tomato's crushed by hand
- 1 small can Tomato Paste
- 2/3 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 4 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Warm Water
- Dash of fresh ground pepper
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter and heat until almost shimmering.
- Add the garlic, stirring a few times around the pot and then quickly add the onion powder, red pepper flakes, basil and oregano.
- Stir a few times and allow the herbs to bloom.
- Add Parmesan Cheese, and brown sugar and then quickly dump in the tomato sauce, tomato paste and water.
- Stir to combine and bring to a light boil.
- Turn down to low, season to taste and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours for ultimate flavor or use immediately if needed.
- Use this stove top pizza crust recipe,
- 7 ounces of this sauce,
- 6 ounces mixed cheeses,
- 1/2 a jar of mushroom pieces,
- and a couple slices of Ham - because I can
- brown it in the oven broiler after it cooked in the skillet.
- served two adult men comfortably. About 400 calories each person.