It's hard to believe that pizza originally did not contain tomatoes! Tomatoes originated from the Americas, and didn't reach Italy until the mid-1500s. They didn't get popular until the late 1800s though, because people thought they were poisonous. Now, however, tomato sauce is considered an essential part of most types of pizza. Want to make it at home? Here's the way to get that great "pizzeria" taste in your sauce, with all the "what"s and "how"s.
Variations on a Theme
There are two recipes featured here, depending on what you have and how much work you would like to put in.
- The Store Bought Plus recipe is for those who want a quick yet improved pizza sauce, using tomato sauce and sugar.
- The Sauce from Scratch recipe is for those who have the time (preparation only - no cooking required!) to mix the ingredients for a purer and more customized taste.
Store Bought Plus
Note: the amounts of ingredients must be calculated proportionately with the pizza. As such, measurements cannot be determined without a "hands-on" calculation made during procedure.
- 1 can smooth spaghetti sauce or pasta sauce
- 1 handful sugar
- extra virgin olive oil (optional)
After rolling out dough, ladle on sauce as directed by the pizza recipe, then grab a handful of sugar and drizzle it on, until the surface of the sauce becomes white - however, it should remain possible to see the crystals dissolving.
The sugar covers the taste of the acidity and vegetal character of the sauce. Sugar is the secret to a pizza that tastes like one from many American fast-food franchise pizza outlets like Domino's and Pizza Hut.
A common modification is to drizzle high-quality extra virgin olive oil onto sauce on pizza, or to pre-brush the dough with oil before adding the sauce.
Sauce from Scratch
- 6-ounce (170g) can of tomato paste (with no additives is best)
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups (250ml - 375ml) of water (depending on desired consistency)
- ~ 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil (more or less depending on taste)
- 1 to 3 cloves minced garlic
- a pinch of anise (or substitute fennel)
- around 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano (according to preference)
- around 1/2 tablespoon dried basil (according to preference)
- kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Combine tomato paste, water, and oil.
- Add garlic, basil, and oregano, mixing thoroughly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. A quart mason jar works perfectly; ingredients can be added and shaken to mix.
- For best results place in refrigerator overnight or allow the mixture to rest before using. Makes ~1/2 quart (475ml).