It’s Pizza Week at Olivia’s Cuisine!
What makes a good pizza? I’m sure this question has an infinite number of different answers depending on who’s answering. For me, besides the overall quality of the ingredients, it’s the tomato sauce. I will overlook a ‘meh’ crust if the sauce is amazing. Of course, I prefer when both the crust and the sauce are amazing, but a good pizza sauce is how I’ll remember a good pizza.
By now you are probably running for the hills, thinking you will never invite me for a pizza party because it will be too much work to make a pizza sauce that will please me. Nah! The magic of the perfect pizza sauce is that “less is more”. I know that this phrase is incredibly overused and I don’t usually agree with it. But for pizza sauce I do! The perfect pizza sauce requires only 3 ingredients: San Marzano peeled tomatoes, an onion and some garlic. And, of course, extra virgin olive oil and salt. I sometimes use basil to give it extra flavor, but it’s totally optional! In fact, if you’re in a hurry to make your pizza and you are in front of all the sauces in the grocery store, thinking of just buying one of those jars of “pizza sauce” to save time, stop right there. Look to your left, now look down. See that can of peeled tomatoes? Grab it. Now when you get home, you either roughly chop it or put it in the blender and season with salt. That’s it! It’s as simple as it can get and it’s way better than that “stuff” they call homemade pizza sauce. The pizza sauce should be all about the taste of the tomatoes, nothing else. And the peeled tomatoes are the freshest tasting among all the canned tomato products.
The San Marzano peeled tomatoes are the best kind you could get. They might be a little more expensive than the other kinds, but they are SO worth it. (Yeah, I had to put “so” in capital words so you would read it as if I’m a valley girl because I really wanna emphasize that they are worth it!) They have the ideal balance between sweetness and acidity and because of that they are perfect for sauces and soups!
When I use San Marzano tomatoes I almost never need to add sugar. So if you use another kind of peeled tomatoes when making this recipe, check for acidity, as you might wanna add a pinch or two of sugar.
You will notice in the recipe below that I simmer the tomato sauce for 1.5 hours. You don’t have to! Simmering the tomatoes for a long time does improve the flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, just boil the sauce, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so and they will still be fabulous! You can also blend the sauce with a hand blender (or in a regular blender) if you want a smooth sauce. I just like mine chunky! :) Also, if you don’t like the little pieces of onion, just cut the onion in half and put the two halves to simmer with the sauce and remove at the end.
Oh, did I mention you can totally use this sauce for spaghetti? Or any kind of pasta? And that you can also totally use it as a dip for garlic knots or mozzarella sticks? Or that you can use it in your lasagna or your chicken/beef parmigiana? OhMyGod, now I’m hungry! Bye, I need to go eat some tomato sauce out of the jar by the spoonful! :-P
Stay tuned for a delicious pizza recipe that I’ll post later this week!
- 1 28oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Basil sprig
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of sugar if necessary
- Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and crush them using your hands. Reserve.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and the onion. (I like to add the garlic with the oil and let them heat together so the garlic can infuse the oil).
- Add the tomatoes and the basil and let it boil.
- Once it boils, lower the heat and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring every now and then.
- Remove the basil and season with salt (and sugar, if necessary).
- Optional: Blend the sauce until smooth using a hand blender.
- Let it cool before adding to the pizza dough.
You can refrigerate it for up to 1 week or freeze it for up to 6 months.