Author Topic: Let's Talk Sauce  (Read 3317 times)

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Offline Signus

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Let's Talk Sauce
« on: October 12, 2012, 03:08:19 AM »
Ok folks, I've only made a few pizzas so far, but all have used the same basic sauce recipe that I found online a while ago.

http://www.food.com/recipe/ultimate-pizza-sauce-114392

I've used this to make Mellow Mushroom clones, Deep Dish pizzas, and a few New York style ones.
It is really thick and has a TON of flavor, but at times tastes a bit too much like pasta sauce. More recently I've been making two batches at one, one with more paste and spices, and one with more sauce and honey, then combining the two in varying amounts.

But, now I want to start branching out into other recipes. The sauce I have is good, but it didn't feel like any other Pizza sauce I've had.

So, does anyone have any really good recipes they can share for New York style pizzas?

As a side note, I generally don't like chunky sauce, and run any sauce I make through a blender before use. And up until now I've been using cheap Hunts Sauce and Paste. I haven't been able to find any 6 in 1 to try with my deep dish pizzas. What brands/kinds of tomato sauce/paste should I be looking for? Crushed, diced, skinned, with basil, without?

And last, I've been a fan of Red Baron Frozen pizza sauce in the past (I know, frozen pizza) mainly cause it has a decent spice/kick to it. Is this from black pepper maybe? Do we have any sauce artisans here?

Thanks in advance folks!


Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 04:08:34 AM »
You will find that those who pursue the best sauces are relying on minimalism to achieve the best/freshest flavors. Cooked and highly seasoned sauces don't really have any following here.

scott123

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 04:14:00 AM »
Signus, for NY style, pasta sauce is generally cooked, pizza sauce is generally uncooked.

In it's simplest form, NY style sauce is just a good tomato, salt and, unless the tomato is extraordinarily sweet, it almost always requires some sugar. You can put the oregano on top of the pizza or in the sauce.  A tiny bit of fresh garlic (a little bit goes a long way) or some finely chopped fresh basil are nice additions, but not essential.

Most puree is reconstituted previously cooked (bad) paste, and the non-reconstituted purees generally can't hold a candle to the taste of less processed tomatoes. The pizzeria of my youth had access to better puree than I have access to now. To match that flavor, I find that I have to go with a ground tomato.  The 6 in 1s are solid performers, but I think it's possible to get a ground tomato at a supermarket.  Some Walmarts have the Classico ground peeled tomatoes- those have a good track record.

Your best bet is to buy a variety of brands, taste them, and see which one comes out on top.

The one downside to ground tomatoes for you is that the texture can vary, and, because they have seeds, you don't want to blend them, as the seeds will turn the sauce bitter. Some brands can be on the smooth side- not puree smooth, but not chunky. At the same time you're testing for taste, look at the texture as well.  If the seeds are not too numerous, you might be able to get away with a little hand blending, but I wouldn't blend it too much.

Offline sb 44 champs

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 05:42:22 AM »
I've used Peter Reinhart's Crushed Tomato Pizza Sauce, which I find is pretty good. I'm sure there are better ones out there but this one is decent.
1 can (28 ounces) crushed or ground tomatoes (see comments above)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste, start with 1/2 teaspoon and then adjust as needed)
 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil (optional) (or 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional) (or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano)
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder (sandy, not the fine powder)
(or 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced or crushed)
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice, or a combination of both (optional--some brands are more acidic than others, but I find that most benefit from at least 1 tablespoon)

1.Stir all the ingredients together, adding the salt gradually, to taste. (The basil and oregano are optional.
2.Do not cook this sauce--the tomatoes are already cooked when they go in the can and they will cook again on the pizza (of course, if using this over spaghetti or other pasta, in other words, if it won't be cooked again in the oven, then you can heat it up in a pan). This sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Offline Signus

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 07:28:04 AM »
Thanks for the sound (and detailed!) advice folks. I'm looking forward to trying this over the weekend.

I'm curious though, is there any particular reason you shouldn't cook pizza sauce? It seems like it's a good way to make sure enough of the seasoning flavor goes into the sauce. I suppose it's just redundant since its going in the oven anyway?

I suppose I'll have to get over my tomato aversion :)

Offline weemis

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 07:47:57 AM »
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder (sandy, not the fine powder)
(or 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced or crushed)

holy pizza pie! 5 cloves of fresh garlic!? maybe this is referencing tiny garlic, but that seems like a lot! Your best bet is to let the pizza toppings hold these flavors and have the sauce be minimal as stated by scott123. You can always add garlic to the pizza if that's what the pizza needs, but you can't take it away if it isn't.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline weemis

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 07:49:11 AM »
I'm curious though, is there any particular reason you shouldn't cook pizza sauce? It seems like it's a good way to make sure enough of the seasoning flavor goes into the sauce.

The goal, for me at least, is fresh tomato flavor. cooking it twice, as you said, makes it more like pasta sauce. The only time I cook tomatoes is if reduction is necessary, and even then, you can add a good paste if needed.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 07:50:57 AM by weemis »
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 07:56:23 AM »
If you would like to try something out of the box, find a can of Cento Italian peeled tomatoes (or Rienzi), crush them by hand until finely broken apart - or do two or three zaps with a stick blender on low.

Add a tiny amount of sugar if needed (as Scott123 suggested) but only if they are too acidic for you. Taste them.

That is it. Top your pie with flavorful ingredients and see if you like it.

FYI - A tip on fresh basil, it is nearly flavorless when added to a sauce and cooked down, and only really brings out a floral flavor when added directly to the pie before cooking or directly after the pie comes out of the oven. It is not standard NY style practice, but for flavor it cant be beat.

John

scott123

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 08:00:31 AM »
holy pizza pie! 5 cloves of fresh garlic!?

Yes, this is one of the topics that I brought up in my conversation with Reinhart. When I add garlic, it's half a small clove per 28 oz. can of tomatoes.

Offline Signus

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 08:42:00 AM »
Wow, I'm always taken aback at just how helpful everyone is on this forum, so again, thanks to all of you!

One more quick question, if I want a sauce with a little bit of a kick to it, some heat, what would be the best ingredients to add? (as you can see, I'm not just a noob pizza maker, but a noob cook in general!)


Offline Michael130207

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2012, 09:07:52 AM »
You mentioned 6 in 1 in your original post. I like that product a lot. I keep coming back to it and find I like it best after continually trying different brands of whole canned tomatoes. I definitely agree with the minimalist approach. Like others have recommeded, I simply add a small clove of crushed garlic, salt and dried oregano to taste. For a little kick I use pepper flakes but wait to add to my slice only, as everyone has a different affinity for them.  Usually a tsp each per 28 oz can. I find it is usually sweet enough without added sugar but sometimes add a tsp of sugar after tasting.You can obtain them online and the shipping is very inexpensive. Try the following link.

http://www.escalon.net/products/6in1-tomato-sauce.aspx.

I am sure there may be slightly better tasting products out there but I love the ease, speed, and quality of this approach. To me it has a light simple fresh taste.
Michael

Offline weemis

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2012, 09:11:21 AM »
Wow, I'm always taken aback at just how helpful everyone is on this forum, so again, thanks to all of you!

One more quick question, if I want a sauce with a little bit of a kick to it, some heat, what would be the best ingredients to add? (as you can see, I'm not just a noob pizza maker, but a noob cook in general!)

There's a bunch of ways to do, but again I'd suggest your sauce remain out of the equation. TXCraig has a recipe for a chili oil added to the topped pizza that folks seem to rave about, but it takes an expensive chili product that mostly has to be ordered from the internet. I buy some hot chili infused oil from a local asian store and it's pretty cheap and effective for heating up a pie. Then there's always the dried chili flakes which are a staple of pizza shop tables right next to the parm shaker, along with cayenne pepper powder.

Jalapenos as a topping are also a good source of heat. Don't just limit yourself to adulteration of a good sauce. All these things you're looking for can be accommodated outside of the sauce as well.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2012, 09:22:33 AM »
There is nothing wrong with cooking tomatoes, just do not let them get too hot (stay below 200 degrees).  I like to add paprika, Aleppo pepper or regular chili flakes for my cooked sauce for kick.  Plus, cooking them increases the nutritional value:

http://www.news.cornell.edu/chronicle/02/4.25.02/tomato_research.html

Offline weemis

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 09:46:00 AM »
There is nothing wrong with cooking tomatoes, just do not let them get too hot (stay below 200 degrees).  I like to add paprika, Aleppo pepper or regular chili flakes for my cooked sauce for kick.  Plus, cooking them increases the nutritional value:

http://www.news.cornell.edu/chronicle/02/4.25.02/tomato_research.html

Interesting. Thanks for the link.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline thezaman

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 09:57:15 AM »
 tom, thanks for the link,very excited ,i can use that information as a selling point.i always cook in a steam jacketed kettle and stop when my sauce hits 195.

Offline Signus

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2012, 03:41:18 PM »
Am I supposed to strain the tomatoes first if say, I had a can of ground tomatoes? I remember a lot of people in the deep dish section talked about doing this to 6 in 1s.

Offline jsaras

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Re: Let's Talk Sauce
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2012, 07:00:36 PM »
This is culled from a handful of recipes for uncooked sauces on this forum.  The amount of added ingredients are all on the lighter side so as to prevent messing up perfectly nice tomatoes. 

28 oz can ground or crushed tomatoes (Classico or 6-in1, etc.)
1 tsp basil (fresh, not dried)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
tsp- 3/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp sugar

Variations:
no sugar
no ground pepper
add 1 tsp oregano (Penzeys Turkish Oregano preferred)
add tsp ground fennel.

Refrigerate overnight.
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