Author Topic: Using garden tomatoes to make a neapolitan sauce  (Read 992 times)

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Offline Yeasty Boy

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Using garden tomatoes to make a neapolitan sauce
« on: August 23, 2012, 12:38:22 PM »
Has anyone had any success using garden tomatoes to make a WFO pizza sauce?

Last weekend I gave it a try, blanching and de-seeding about 16 San Marzano's, romas and a couple beefsteak (if it was ripe, I used it).

After the tomatoes were prepped, I puree'd them in a blender. I added a little sugar, oregano...and that was about it.

The sauce (predominately uncooked) looked and tasted good. But when I spread it on the pizza it separated. The resulting water got on my peel, making the pizza stick. It also hit the oven floor when shaking the pizza off the peel, cooling it a bit.

I took the remainder of my sauce and ran it through a strainer before making another pizza. I was shocked to see how much water drained out.

The resulting strained sauce didn't have the water issues, but was sort of unspectacular in taste.

Any tips on making a kick-ass sauce for a WFO pizza using garden tomatoes? Or a method of prepping raw tomatoes that gives some good flavor?

Is roasting the tomatoes in the oven a good idea, or should the sauce be "raw" for this cooking environment?

I've made the basic sauce from canned San Marzanos, and it comes out fantastic. But my garden is brimming with fresh tomatoes right now and I need to use them!


Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Using garden tomatoes to make a neapolitan sauce
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 12:57:26 PM »
Has anyone had any success using garden tomatoes to make a WFO pizza sauce?

Yes, many people have.

I can tell you that the Pizza Hacker does this and I know two trusted pizza palates who have eaten his pizza and both mentioned it was as good a sauce as they have ever tasted in their lives. If I recall, they mentioned he was using a variety of Early Girl tomatoes for the sauce.

I'm somewhat surprised your sauce tasted less spectacular after draining the watery liquid. Taking somewhat of a wild guess here, but did it rain close to the time period you picked the tomatoes you used for the sauce....any light rains the day before/of picking or heavy rains in the 3-4 days preceeding your picking? Did you water the tomatoes on the day or two proceeding picking them? This may have impacted your results as enough water (rain, manual watering) will cause the concentration of the tomato flavor in the pulps to become more diluted.

There are many ways to make a good sauce, particularly because your preferences may be different than others. I would make sure the blanching you do to remove the skins be as quick as possible and into the ice bath immediately. Then try splitting the tomatoes in half and either let them sit in a colander or place them open side down on a couple layers of paper towels for 20 minutes or so. Then hand squeeze them in a colander placed in a pot to further reduce any loose water in the tomatoes (save the juice in the pot for now). At that point you should have a good, concentrated pulp mass to work with. Hit them with a stick blender and season as desired. Let the sauce sit for a bit before using....for some reason the flavors come together better if the sauce is allowed to sit for an hour or two (I find this true with canned tomatoes as well). If you find that the sauce is too thick or "dry" for your personal tastes, add back in some of the tomato water you collected in the pot when hand squeezing to reach your desired consistency.

Just remember that not all tomato varieties are created and grown equally. Some varieties will match your personal tastes for a pizza sauce better than others. Growing conditions in your yard may be more ideal one year as opposed to the next. And the amount of water the plants receive in close proximity to when they are picked and used is another factor.

At the end of the day, experimentation and practice makes perfect! --K  :)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 01:00:02 PM by pizzablogger »
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Using garden tomatoes to make a neapolitan sauce
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 03:55:58 PM »
Hi Yeasty Boy.

this is a link of one of many times i used fresh tomatoes.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8441.0.html
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Yeasty Boy

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Re: Using garden tomatoes to make a neapolitan sauce
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 04:55:54 PM »
Quote
I'm somewhat surprised your sauce tasted less spectacular after draining the watery liquid.

I tasted the water that had drained from the "finished" sauce, and it was somewhat sweet. I think the sugar, salt and a bit of the oregano flavor drained-out. I replaced what I felt were the "washed-away" components, but it wasn't all too successful.

Lesson learned, I guess. Drain the tomato puree first. Then season.


 

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