Author Topic: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce  (Read 731 times)

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Offline Dan McDermott

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Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« on: November 03, 2014, 05:46:35 PM »
I've gotten pretty good at my NY Style dough and the cooking times and temps with my Blackstone Patio Oven so I am now experimenting with fully prepared sauce.

I wanted something easy and simple. I tried this right after it was done on a pita pizza with a little cheese on top and it was pretty good! I'll test again after it has sat in the fridge overnight and the flavors have come together more. Then I'll play around with the amount of ingredients. I might try some anchovy in it paste as well.  And maybe a little less water.

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon each of:

  Black Pepper
  Onion Powder
  Salt
  Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 teaspoon of:

  Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon each of

  Sugar (I know... I know...)
  Italian Seasoning

2 tablespoons of:

  Olive Oil

12 oz can each of:

  Tomato Paste
  Lukewarm Water

Procedure:

  Put everything except the tomato paste in a large microwave-safe bowl
  Stir
  Microwave one minute (or until about 110 F)
  Add tomato paste
  Wisk together
  Use right away or for better results, refrigerate overnight up to 2 weeks, covered
  (If you are hosting the Sopranos, omit the sugar)

Any feedback would be appreciated!


Online JD

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 01:39:10 PM »
I've gotten pretty good at my NY Style dough and the cooking times and temps with my Blackstone Patio Oven so I am now experimenting with fully prepared sauce.

I wanted something easy and simple. I tried this right after it was done on a pita pizza with a little cheese on top and it was pretty good! I'll test again after it has sat in the fridge overnight and the flavors have come together more. Then I'll play around with the amount of ingredients. I might try some anchovy in it paste as well.  And maybe a little less water.

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon each of:

  Black Pepper
  Onion Powder
  Salt
  Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 teaspoon of:

  Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon each of

  Sugar (I know... I know...)
  Italian Seasoning

2 tablespoons of:

  Olive Oil

12 oz can each of:

  Tomato Paste
  Lukewarm Water

Procedure:

  Put everything except the tomato paste in a large microwave-safe bowl
  Stir
  Microwave one minute (or until about 110 F)
  Add tomato paste
  Wisk together
  Use right away or for better results, refrigerate overnight up to 2 weeks, covered
  (If you are hosting the Sopranos, omit the sugar)

Any feedback would be appreciated!

Dan,

If your goal is traditional NY style, then I can make it even quicker & easier for you  :P

All you need is a good can of crushed tomatoes uncooked spooned directly on the pizza skin, pinch of oregano, pinch of basil (optional), salt & sugar depending on how your tomatoes taste & what cheese you use. That's it! No pre-cooking required. Once you start adding a bunch of spices & cooking, even if it's just a microwave spice extraction, you run the risk of making an American style sauce (ie. Dominoes, Pizza Hut, etc).

Sometimes simple is best, give it a shot
Josh

JD's NY Style: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=34538.0
JD's Neapolitan using Pizza Party WFO: (Coming soon!)
http://www.wood-fired-pizza-oven.us/

Offline Dan McDermott

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 02:32:30 PM »
Quote
All you need is a good can of crushed tomatoes uncooked spooned directly on the pizza skin, pinch of oregano, pinch of basil (optional), salt & sugar depending on how your tomatoes taste & what cheese you use. That's it! No pre-cooking required. Once you start adding a bunch of spices & cooking, even if it's just a microwave spice extraction, you run the risk of making an American style sauce (ie. Dominoes, Pizza Hut, etc).

Thanks for the reply! I agree on not cooking sauce. My goal was to make the paste mix more easily. That's why I heated the water. I'll try it again without heating. I have used crushed tomatoes from Pomi with good results. My goal is to save time when I have to push out a large number of pies at once. So pre-mixing is what I am trying to do, to make a prepared sauce. Frankly, I'm not sure whether it is worth it. There are a lot of good pizza sauces out there ranging from subtle to complex and when you buy the #10 cans, the cost is about the same as buying crushed tomatoes or paste and doing it yourself. In the end, it is still tomatoes cooked in a can and whether the spices are added by me or at a factory is unlikely to be noticeable by a typical hungry person.

Offline jsaras

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Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 02:43:31 PM »
This is my sauce, with concepts borowed liberally from others on this board:

Basic Pizza Sauce
 
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Wal Mart, Kroger or Smart & Final brand, code on the can is 5TPCG OL
14 g sugar (optional)
7g salt
0.75 g ground black pepper
0.42 g oregano
1-2 TB of olive oil
(3.5 g) garlic powder or 1/4 clove garlic or 1/4 Dorot frozen garlic cube
0.25 g ground fennel (optional, but very recommended)
0.40 g crushed red pepper (optional, adds a zesty element)
0.40 g Dorot frozen basil cube (optional)
 
 The salt and sugar (if used) are added directly to the canned tomatoes. 

Put the olive oil and all the spices into a small microwave safe container such as a ramekin or a coffee cup.  Ensure that all the spices are wet from being covered in olive oil.  Microwave the mixture for 2 minutes at 30% power. This is called “microwave extraction”.  This technique gives you the same effect of cooking the sauce, without the negative effects of cooking canned tomatoes.  The herbs and spices get infused into the oil, so you get the benefits of cooking the sauce without cooking the tomatoes.
 
Pour the oil/spice mix into a container with the tomatoes.  Close the container and shake the heck out of it.  It is ready to serve immediately,  but it is better if refrigerated overnight.  Note that pizza sauce should be applied to a pizza when it has reached room temperature.
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Offline Dan McDermott

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 03:56:50 AM »
jsaras: That's actually pretty similar to what I did, except I added water in with the oil and spices since I was refreshing paste. I have read about using fennel but didn't have time to get to town before I made it. I'll get some tomorrow. Can't wait to try it. The Italian seasoning I used was McCormick Gourmet from Costco with thyme, garlic, marjoram, onion, rosemary, oregano, basil, savory and sage. It was good yesterday when I mixed it and fantastic today after sitting in the fridge overnight.

Also, I took your (and others') advice and warmed my Blackstone oven up on a pretty low setting. I got it up to about 400-450 on the air thermostat and the bottom stone was around 700-750. I cooked an 8 oz dough ball stretched to around 12-13" and made a pizza. The bottom was perfect and the top was bubbling. It was really amazing. Plus at that lower temp, you have a good 30 second window when it is just right. At 1000-1,200 degrees 5 seconds matters and you can easily screw up.

Offline bigMoose

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2014, 06:35:47 AM »
Also with help from this board I have a few sauces from light and traditional to heavy for the kids... for NY style, the biggest tip I received from two pizza operators here was to source 7/11 tomato puree and use it as the base.  It is a commercial product, sold in #10 cans.  I have a company tax ID, so I was able to get a membership at Restaurant Depot to buy commercial quality products.

If you can't get Stanislaus 7/11 puree then a competitor is Escalon 6 in 1 puree.  You can mail order consumer size cans of 6 in 1 from the manufacturer and on the internet.  The next step down (IMO) is Cento All in One tomato puree.  Cento is more available and still pretty good.

Once you sample the brightness of 7/11 right out of the can you will see the difference.  A little Italian Oregano, a pinch of Basil, and a bit of crushed, fresh garlic in the 7/11 and I am good for NY style.

Good thread here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3735.msg348229.html#msg348229
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 06:50:00 AM by bigMoose »

Offline David Esq.

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2014, 08:05:19 AM »
Want easy? Take can of whole peeled tomatoes, drain in colander. Add to blender. Blend, fridge and use all week. Feel free to add oregano but It isn't necessary.

Offline Dan McDermott

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 10:31:02 AM »
bigMoose:  I'll try the 7/11 brand. Thanks for the tip!

David Esq:  I don't get the difference between crushed before you buy them or afterward. In the end you are dealing with tomatoes cooked in a can. Is there a practical difference that justifies the cost and time to crush them yourself? (I'm talking at scale. Obviously for the occasional home pizza this isn't an issue.)

Offline David Esq.

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2014, 01:21:07 PM »
Well whole tomatoes are "better" because they use the best tomatoes. I don't know that I can taste the difference but haven't tried a taste test. They are easier to drain too, I think. Might wind up with more watery sauce using crushed tomatoes.

Offline gfgman

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2014, 11:29:00 AM »
I'll stick with my crushed tomatoes.  I like the American SMs.  They're not everybody's cup of tea, but I really enjoy them.  Their kind of expensive, but I did find an imported crushed SM that is cheaper, and the two kinds mixed together have a really nice flavor.  I've never tried the whole SMs, but price being equal, I'm going to guess that that I get more sauce from the crushed.  And actually a better flavor.  The crushed are not too watery.  The label says that one of the ingredients is concentrated crushed tomatoes, which means water removed.  I would think the tomato flavor would be much stronger than what you would get from a can of whole tomatoes.  I'm not an expert though.


Offline Arctic Pizza

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Re: Testing a Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2014, 10:37:12 AM »
Thanks for the reply! I agree on not cooking sauce. My goal was to make the paste mix more easily. That's why I heated the water. I'll try it again without heating. I have used crushed tomatoes from Pomi with good results. My goal is to save time when I have to push out a large number of pies at once. So pre-mixing is what I am trying to do, to make a prepared sauce. Frankly, I'm not sure whether it is worth it. There are a lot of good pizza sauces out there ranging from subtle to complex and when you buy the #10 cans, the cost is about the same as buying crushed tomatoes or paste and doing it yourself. In the end, it is still tomatoes cooked in a can and whether the spices are added by me or at a factory is unlikely to be noticeable by a typical hungry person.

I would disagree with some posts here that NY style pizza sauce is not cooked.  Current turn key process in the industry for today's pies use the simple recipe of  tomatoes out of cans, pureed with few spices and spooned on the pie very sparingly, but I have been generally dissatisfied with those results.  These processes have been simplified for new pizza entrepreneurs over the years.  Many slices in NYC, you can't even taste any sauce anymore (it is like an afterthought), which is sad because I worked pizzerias in the past and sauce was vital component to the pizza.  It is what gave the pizza that umami, or what you crave.

Tomato paste in a can has already been cooked for hours in the processing plants, so saying to not cook canned paste makes no sense.  Simmering canned paste with water with spices will actually enhance the flavor prior to using it on a baked pie.  I am starting to add paste to my canned tomatoes as paste adds concentrated umami.   Also, an addition of a fat is important.  I've seen people simmer their pizza sauce with flavored oil, anchovies, bone stock, parmigiano-reggiano, or even butter.  Butter is surprisingly good addition to pizza sauces. 

Most NY pizzerias do not cook sauces anymore, and this is why most pizzerias generally taste the same and rather generic.  People don't cook sauces because it's laborious and as I mentioned before, it has become an accepted turn key industry practice.  There are several places that use cooked/simmered sauces though.  Artichoke Basille cooks their sauce.  Di Fara has always cooked their sauces, NY Pizza Suprema, Denino's in Staten Island, Prince St. Pizzeria all cook their sauces.  Places I worked in past back in the 80's all cooked their pizza and sicilian sauces.

I do use uncooked tomatoes for some other pizza recipes, like Napoletana style pies, but that's a different product.  As much as people may deny it, NY street slice pies are generally an Americanized product so the logic that cooking sauce makes a more American pizza is rather moot point

« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 10:53:27 AM by Arctic Pizza »