Author Topic: Sauce ingredient possibilities??  (Read 9670 times)

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Offline youonlylivetwice

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Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« on: April 06, 2005, 02:04:08 PM »
Hi all,
I am new here, and really appreciate all that I have read.  My question is ( a little hard to answer) what would be a comprehensive list of ingredients that might go into a sauce?  I have been trying to make  a good sauce, and I guess I just don't have the knowledge about what to try next and how it might affect flavor.  I have tried the sauce in  Peter Reinhart's American Pie, and it is alright, but there is a certain flavor I am after and I just don't know how to get there.  I saw a pic from ItsInTheSauce in another thread that looked great, kind of a deeper red, just looking for options.  If this is too hard to answer, please don't beat me up for asking a dumb question.

Thanks!


Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2005, 02:19:12 PM »
Hi there, love the nickname  ;D

one ingredient that all pizza joints up here in Canada use is cinnamon, not so much as you can really put your finger
on it, but if you know it's in the sauce, then when you taste it, you will be able to detect it, but others won't. It really is a magical
ingredient, and you should really try it.

I've seen some of my American friends here also mention it, so it's an ingredient used both north and south of the border.

It's one of those little flavours that gives you that "hmm that's good, what is that ?? "  ;D

Little is good, go easy at first.  Just a sprinkle in a bowl of sauce ( say 2 cups is enough )

Mark
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Offline scott r

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2005, 02:43:16 PM »
It's all in the tomatoes.  Do a search around here, Escalon, Stanislaus, La Ragina (for San Marzano's) are the best I have found.  Tomatoes like these are not in your grocery store, and you have probably never cooked with anything of this caliber.  When you start with these there is no way to make a bad sauce.  I have found that they are so good, and most of them thick enough already, that cooking them actually takes away from their flavor.  They will cook enough on the pizza.  Also, you may find you need little or no sesoning at all.  After that try,

Sugar (honey etc)
Oregano
Basil
Garlic
Salt
Red pepper flakes
Marjoram (one of my personal faves)

If you are really serious about this, buy fresh herbes, etc. and stir them into the tomatoes, then let them sit overnight.  If you are going to use dry herbs, buy good ones.  Do a search here for Penzy's spices.  Haven't tried cinnimon yet, but I have seen some crazy things go into chilli that take it to another level.

Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2005, 04:23:10 PM »
Thanks, actually I have been surprised at some of the posts about difficulty finding those tomatoes, I work in a downtown office building and can walk to three different Italian groceries that sell them.  I think I am missing an ingredient or technique.  It's almost like the sauce is too fresh and bright, stupid as that sounds.   I have tried using San Marzano paste, too, and adding water back, but that doesn't do it, either.  One place I read about anchovy paste, but that didn't do it.   I am wondering if cooking down spicy sausage and adding the fat to the sauce instead of olive oil might get it closer.  I haven't tried that yet.  I am trying to get to a spicier, deeper sauce if that makes sense.  Maybe less spice like oregano and basil actually, but a different tomato flavor, not like fresh tomatoes.  Just hoping someone might have that one suggestion that does it.  Thanks to everyone on this site for all the info you share!!

Offline pizzaluvr

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2005, 05:55:14 PM »
I like the flavor red wine vinegar gives to the sauce.   Maybe go with a regular dark wine and cook it down and then add it to the sauce?   Keep us posted, because that's the sort of thing I'm after, too.

Mark
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  "And some white toast..."  Jake & Elwood

Offline Nathan

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2005, 09:07:11 PM »
A local pizza place here where I live uses a little red wine in their sauce.  They have one of the best tasting sauces in town IMO.  I plan on trying it out myself too one of these days but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2005, 08:31:27 AM »
I have no chemistry / food science knowledge, just what I hear, for better or worse.  I have tried both red wine vinegar and lemon juice, and actually found that I liked the lemon juice better.  Maybe I used slightly too much vinegar, but I wasn't crazy about the flavor it left.  I think it is either a method of cooking the tomatoes that adds a different flavor, or some ingredient.  The cinnamon is very interesting, one of those you'd never think of...
I plan to try the Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes next (this weekend), we'll see...
Thank you as always!

Offline Steve

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2005, 08:41:25 AM »
For my thin crust sauce, I add minced green bell pepper and minced onion.
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Offline buzz

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2005, 12:03:09 PM »
Try a little sugar. What I like is a hint of fennel in the background--it just reminds me of the "pizzeria" taste!

Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2005, 12:09:41 PM »
oh, I have tried sugar and fennel too.  Here is a list of what I think I have tried:
oregano
basil
fennel
marjoram
parsley
rosemary
anise
lemon juice
red wine vinegar
anchovy paste
sugar
salt
brown sugar
black pepper
red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper
garlic
garlic powder


not all at once, of course.  Maybe what I need is a long slow simmer.   As stupid as it sounds, the taste I am going for is less fresh and less bright than you get with most recipes.  kinda the same way a really good piece of bbq has been slow cooked forever, it doesn't taste 'fresh' anymore, but man is it good!


Offline buzz

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2005, 12:15:53 PM »
I have tried simmering 6-in-1 for a while before cooking a deep dish, and found that it came out too "cooked"  for my taste after being in the oven. Maybe a short simmer--10 minutes or so?

Tomatoes (even San Marzano's!) can sometimes be a little acidic--how about a pinch of baking soda?

Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2005, 12:18:22 PM »
now that is an interesting idea!  I am up for anything.  How would I know how much to use in a 28oz can of Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes?  like a 1/4 tsp?  more?
thanks for the idea!

Offline Pizzaholic

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2005, 12:45:17 PM »
Lucky you to have 6:1
I havent found them in my area, still looking. Thats part of the fun though

I noticed that in your list of ingredients there is no thyme. I enjoy it in my sauce with a bunch of the other things that you put in the sauces.

Question/Comment
If cooking/simmering the tomato sauce makes it break down and loose flavor, why do it?
I mix my sauce when I make the dough, put it in the fridge overnite to meld and then let it cook on the pie.
Just my preference, and I notice a difference.
Regards
Pizzaholic

Offline buzz

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2005, 01:54:00 PM »
Re baking soda--try just a pinch at a time, and taste as you go along. As I recall, it makes a mini-explosion as it hits the acid! Very cool to do anyway!

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2005, 01:56:29 PM »
I can't believe people don't know the secret to a tasty pizza sauce. U have to fire roast tomatoes on a pan from all sides until they turn black, then u place them in a blender and scrape the left tomato peel from pan and add to belnder and blend. Try that and then puor olive oil into pan and minced garlic and onion then add tomatoes and italian herbs and let simmer low heat. try adding some tomato paste to make sauce thicker and vivid red and richer. Hope this works out with you cus it works for my pizzas.

Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2005, 02:05:17 PM »
Thanks jeancarlo,
that sounds like an intersting idea, and might get me closer.  I may be taking this too literally, but you say 'fire roast', you do just mean to cook them on a stovetop, right?  there is no fire, and you are not roasting them.  Also, do you get the seeds out before blending?  I would think you'd want the seeds removed.  Also, use roma tomatoes if starting from fresh, right? Thanks for the tip!

Offline bakerboy

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2005, 02:09:00 PM »
One of my favorite toppings for pizza is basil pesto.  marinated plum tomatos, mozz, topped off with thick green dollops of pesto.  i miss that pie.  I never see it offered as a topping and i'm not sure why.  Yeah, its a little bit of work, but pesto freezes well.  At the shop i would buy a case of basil, trim it, wash it, and blanch it in boiling water for2-3 min max. then directly to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  This was then squeezed dry and combined with olive oil, parm, pine nuts, garlic and spun in a processor.  The result was a copius amount of really good pesto which would last a very long time. The blanching, cooling and drying steps are the bulk of the work, but if you just dump it all in the processor, the basil will oxidise and turn an unsightly black unless used immediately.

I also like ricotta and mozz based white pizza:  Slow roasted onions, crumbled goat cheese,olive oil, fresh thyme, and pine nuts.  as soon as it comes out of the oven drizzle (every so slightly) with honey.

Shallots roasted in honey and balsamic vinegar are fantastic

Portobello mushrooms marinated or roasted with rosemary, garlic, salt and lots of cracked black pepper.

I don't really care for dried spices except for oregano and dried red hots. 

Ideas?  Whenever i go to a restaurant, i always make mental notes of what i'm getting:  Braised fennel and italian sausage appetiser dizzled with evoo?  sounds like it would work as a pizza topping to me.

Think seasonal.  Right now asparagus is coming into season.  i like to wrap tender asparagus stalks in prosciutto, brush them with a little evoo so the prosciutto doesn't burn and arrange them on the pizza radially with some scattered fresh herbs.

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2005, 08:28:48 PM »
to be honest, it IS all in the tomatoes. IF.... you're going for a fresh tomato taste. Whole peeled tomatoes - just try different ones in your area - drained a bit. cut up with a knife in the can. add some dried oregano, thyme, kosher salt, fresh pepper, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of sugar if they're too acidic. that makes a pretty decent pizza sauce.

if you want a sweet, pizzeria style sauce, shhhh dont tell anyone, but add an equal amount of tomato paste as the tomatoes and about a tablespoon of sugar to the recipe i stated above.

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2005, 09:42:33 PM »

Small amount of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (say) 1/4t for 28oz can of tomatoes----(anchovy paste in it perks the sauce up)--too much and that's all you will taste.

Offline varasano

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Re: Sauce ingredient possibilities??
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2005, 10:49:54 PM »
The key is the fresh tomato taste. Stay away from recipies with lots of ingredients.  Remove the water by Straining the tomatoes, not by precooking them. They will cook plenty on the pie. If you do it before hand they cook twice and it's not good. This is a big secret of some of the best places and it actually makes it easier for you (one of the few time saving steps to this difficult process)

To cut the acidity, grate some excellent romano cheese into the tomatos.  Then add a bit of sugar, but try it with the romano first. A pinch of salt and maybe a pinch of oregano. That's it.

Jeff