Author Topic: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?  (Read 46851 times)

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Offline Pizzacrazy7

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Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« on: January 09, 2009, 06:55:37 PM »
I'm new to this board.  I literally eat pizza almost EVERY day and I'm looking into making my own.  I've been desperately searching for pizza sauce recipes.  I'm basically looking for any great sauce-pizzaria style.  Sahara Pizza, Pizza Factory, Pizza Shoppe, Pizza Pipeline, even Papa Murphys aren't bad or a real pizzeria style - and have gotten anyhere.  Not like the "Domino's" or "Pizza Huts" chains though.  I have tried MANY recipes off of this board and off the internet.  I tried the "Red November Pizza Sauce (#2) off this board and etc.  From simple to fairly complex to no avail.  I almost wonder if the base is the problem..?  I usually use Hunts tomato paste or tomato sauce.  I might need to try the 6 in 1 that everyone raves about.  No matter how I spice it, it seems like it has a strange taste which I think might be the base.  There is a place here in ID thats called Nate's NY Pizza hat has a nice smooth sauce with just a hint of sweet.  Just looking for a smooth great tasting sauce.  I found a GREAT pizza dough recipe-check it out at  www varasanos dot)com (forward slash)PizzaRecipe.htm .  But I still need that sauce.  Any suggestions??      
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 09:17:45 PM by Pizzacrazy7 »
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Offline jeff v

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce"
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 08:27:06 PM »
That's pretty subjective I guess, especially since I have not had any of the pizza you mentioned. I think you would be surprised at the difference a good tomato from the start would make-that's what happened to me. Try the 6in1's or some San Marzanos-you can run them through a food mill to get them real smooth if you'd like. I read somewhere here about people using brown sugar for that hint of sweet you mentioned. If you're reconstituting Hunt's tomato paste to make a sauce that's another thing I would stop doing.

Jeff
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

Offline pizzoid

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce"
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 09:42:20 PM »
I'd try to find a cash & carry that carries Stanislaus products in your area. My personal favorite is their Pizzaiolo (for plain cheese pies), but the folks I've made pies for, like the Full Red Fully Prepared Sauce by them a little better.

I've been trying to get the freshness of a diced Bonta product by mixing them in, but no luck so far. Also, I don't seem to notice the added citric acid like some folks.

- Al

Offline Essen1

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 10:55:46 PM »
I heard that the Full Red pizza sauce is popular among some pizza joints.

But I agree with Jeff. A good sauce starts with a good base, or tomato product, for that matter. Hunt's, IMHO, is too sweet and has a funny aftertaste.
Mike

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Offline Matthew

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 06:19:48 AM »
I must agree, in order to have a great sauce you need to start off with great tomatoes.  As Jeff mentioned, it's subjective & tastes will differ amongst people, but once you've nailed it, you'll know.  Being born & raised Italian, & use to homemade tomato sauce, any canned sauce to make tastes like ketchup.  I always start my sauce with DOP certified San Marzano tomatoes, just make sure that they are the real thing.  I am from Canada & purchase mine from a local Italian grocery store, they are not cheap but well worth it.  Always taste the tomato as soon as you open the can.  I work to hard on my dough to have it ruined by a bad can of tomatoes.  Don't be fooled by price, more expensive isn't always better.  Last week I paid almost $5 for a can of tomatoes that it my opinion were mediocre at best.  If you are going to puree the tomatoes, make sure that you remove all the seeds & the stem, if you don't, I can guarantee you that you will have a very bitter sauce.  If you use a mill, this step is not necessary.  That being said, to me; when it comes to sauce less is more.  My pizza sauce is nothing more than good San Marzano tomatoes (passed through a mill), fresh basil, high quality Italian EVOO,  Kosher salt, and Italian dried oregano (try to find it on the stem, so you are guaranteed that there are no fillers).  Depending on how I feel, I sometimes add some crushed fresh garlic and/or hot red pepper flakes.   I don't cook my sauce, you can if you like.  Give it a whirl & let me know.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 06:23:43 AM by Matthew »

Offline steve in FL

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 11:39:33 PM »
I've found my perfect tasting sauce is 1/2 tsp ground fennel (available online at Penzeys) to a can (28 oz) crushed San Marzano tomatoes, plus a bit of oregano, basil, salt and olive oil, as in any recipe, but the ground fennel for me, really pushes it over the edge.. love it..

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 11:44:53 PM »
I've found my perfect tasting sauce is 1/2 tsp ground fennel (available online at Penzeys) to a can (28 oz) crushed San Marzano tomatoes, plus a bit of oregano, basil, salt and olive oil, as in any recipe, but the ground fennel for me, really pushes it over the edge.. love it..
That is almost exactly my sauce, except I use a bit of fresh garlic and rarely bother with San Marzano as they don't taste any better than a quality crushed tomato to me.

The Fennel does it for me as well. I buy whole seeds and grind them as needed with a hand held ceramic spice grinder.

PNW

Offline WestCountry

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 05:57:54 PM »
Guys- That fennel idea sounds great. I am going to try that.

Chris      :chef:

Offline tdeane

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 10:16:19 PM »
I heard that the Full Red pizza sauce is popular among some pizza joints.

But I agree with Jeff. A good sauce starts with a good base, or tomato product, for that matter. Hunt's, IMHO, is too sweet and has a funny aftertaste.
I tried the Full Red and I hated it. It tastes like tomato paste to me. It is cooked too much in the can,is way too thick and has a sort of brown colour. The 7/11 from Stanislaus is a  much better product and is not cooked as much. Much nicer bright red colour and fresh tomato flavour. I mix that 50-50 with the Alta Cucina's from Stanislaus for my sauce plus I add a little spring water to achieve the proper consistency.

Offline Pizzacrazy7

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 11:22:05 AM »
Thanks for all of the advice!  I just ordered the "6 in 1's" and I'm going to start there.  I'll let everyone know how it goes.
"You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." - John Wooden


Offline pizzoid

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 11:35:56 AM »
I tried the Full Red and I hated it. It tastes like tomato paste to me. It is cooked too much in the can,is way too thick and has a sort of brown colour.

There are at least three Full Red products I know of:
Full Red Puree
Full Red Pizza Sauce
Full Red Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce

While I could see the paste taste comparison with the puree, I've never seen anything like a brown tinge to them.

- Al

Offline tdeane

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 11:54:39 AM »
There are at least three Full Red products I know of:
Full Red Puree
Full Red Pizza Sauce
Full Red Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce

While I could see the paste taste comparison with the puree, I've never seen anything like a brown tinge to them.

- Al
I believe all three of those are actually the same thing just relabelled for different markets. The brown tinge is in comparison to other Stanislaus products like the 7/11 and Alta Cucina which are a bright red.

Offline Pizzacrazy7

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 02:09:11 PM »
Steve,
What are your exact measurements for all the spices?  I'd like to try the recipe out when I get my 6 in 1 base.  Also, do you cook the sauce or do you do the "microwave" trick to the spices or just mix em in and let sit for a while?
"You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." - John Wooden

Offline BMAN111

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2009, 09:44:41 AM »
Fennel does great things to sauce.  Gives it that whole Italian sausage flavor.

Offline tapco1

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2009, 08:55:14 AM »
Must read article on the History of the San Marzano Tomato in Italy and around the world.

Article below also has sauce recipes using the San Marzano Tomato.

thenibble(dot)com , Check their review of the San Marzano Tomato.

I use the Polpa Di Pomodoro Crushed San Marzano that is Grown
domestically in the US for my Pizza Sauce base. Like the article says this brand is wonderful and can improve any tomato sauce recipe you may have.

You really don't need to spend an outrageous sum for the DOP San Marzano.

Look, I have tried them all for over 50 years and the brand I mention above is outstanding. I have also grown the San Marzano variety with very good results
for a fresh homemade sauce.

Tapco1

Offline tapco1

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2009, 09:12:49 AM »
Add a little ground fennel seed to any of the following recipes. You can't go wrong !!

 ASK MICHELE > ARCHIVES
What should I use for sauce in the winter when the fresh tomatoes have no taste?

In the winter, when tomatoes are out of season and the only flavorful tomatoes are cherry tomatoes usually imported from Israel, it is better to use quality, canned tomatoes. A wide variety of canned tomatoes are available, but they can vary in taste and texture that can change from season to season depending on the climate and -- more importantly -- additives that enhance or falsely change flavors. After opening 20 cans of tomatoes and being overwhelmed by the task at hand, I invited several local chefs and food purveyors to join me. We tasted, and tasted, and tasted -- and the results may surprise you as much as they surprised me and my guests. Learn about the different canned varieties and which brand came out the winner -- I've also included cooking techniques and some recipes.

I've outlined the different varieties of tomatoes , the results of taste testing 20 cans of tomatoes with several local chefs and food purveyors, and some helpful cooking techniques and recipes for sauces.

POMODORI

The tomato is a fruit native to Guatemala, which reached Italy by way of the Spanish who ruled Naples for centuries. Now regarded as the Italians' favorite vegetable, it was originally thought to be an "evil poisonous fruit" and was not welcomed into the kitchen until the 18th century. Although approximately 5,000 varieties of this typical Mediterranean fruit exist worldwide, it's easiest to categorize them broadly into round, plum, and cherry varieties.

Styles of Processed Tomatoes

Pomodori pelati -- These are peeled, whole tomatoes which usually need to be seeded and chopped before use. Plum tomatoes are stated as such.

San Marzano (the best plum variety) -- In 1902, the San Marzano tomato was created taking its name from the growing area. The exceptional quality of the rich soil on the pre-Apennine hills, the volcanic ash slopes of Vesuvius, and the mild climate and Mediterranean breezes has made this variety a favorite of cooking enthusiasts and the most popular tomato cultivar in the world. It has now been accorded recognition by the European Union (DOP).

These fire-engine red, very oblong plum style tomatoes are widely cultivated by small scale growers to be peeled and canned for sauces. The growing area encompasses many town districts in the provinces of Naples, Salerno, and Avellino. The flesh is thick, sweet, and firm with a strong flavor and contains fewer seeds than other varieties. Since there are many impostors, look for the letters "DOP" -- the seal of the consortium -- and an expiration date . Because the plum tomato contains less water, sauces made with it do not have to be cooked as long to evaporate excess liquid.

San Marzano-style -- This confusing label without certification could refer to any variety of tomato from anywhere in the world. Beware -- some might be tasty, but many are not!

Pomodorini di collina -- Cherry tomatoes with skin, typically seen from Naples to Sicily and used in a quick sauce. These usually have a naturally sweeter flavor but have skin and seeds.

Polpa di pomodoro -- Peeled, seeded, canned, chopped tomatoes for quick and easy use.

Passata di pomodoro -- Very thick tomato juice or puree made from blanched, skinned, and sieved tomatoes. They're frequently used in place of chopped tomatoes for a smoother sauce. Look for passata packed in glass jars.

Concentrato di pomodoro -- Tomato paste that comes in various concentrations (doppio -- double or triple). The best concentrato is sold in tubes. Pastes are often used in Italy to add an intensity of color, flavor, and thickness to soup, ragu, and bean and lentil dishes. It's rarely used in a sauce in Italy because Italian tomatoes are fleshy and very flavorful.

Since the typical store bought American-Italian style tomatoes weren't usually substantial enough in flavor to stand alone in a sauce, Italian Americans began adding tomato paste to impart a boost of flavor, thicker texture, and more depth of color. This adaptation reminded them more of the tomatoes back home in Italy. However, used in excess, it can destroy a sauce by making it heavy, bitter, and too acidic.

Estratto di pomodoro -- Intense tomato extract made by drying tomato paste in the hot Sicilian sun. This Sicilian specialty, four to six times as concentrated as tomato paste, is usually used to flavor a ragu. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find outside of Sicily.

back to top


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Rating the Tomatoes

The following tomatoes were rated:




Tomato Taste Test Winner


 ITALIAN   AMERICAN


 Magnifico
La Regina, San Marzano, DOP, peeled plum tomatoes in juice. The only ingredients were tomatoes and tomato juice! Unfortunately, no date.   Trader Joe's whole peeled plum with basil in juice, no salt
Trader Joe's whole peeled plum with basil in juice, with salt
Muir Glen organic, whole peeled, with salt
Muir Glen organic, diced, no salt 
Non male (not bad) flavors can be enhanced in a sauce with other ingredients:
La Valle, peeled, plum tomatoes
Whole Foods, Italian organic whole tomatoes in puree with basil
La Valle, pomodorini di collina Italian in tomato puree with basil
La Bella San Marzano, pomodorini di collina Italian in tomato puree with basil
Rienzi, peeled plum tomatoes with thick puree
Pastene, peeled plum tomatoes
Parmalat Pomi, chopped tomatoes   Progresso Italian style, peeled with basil 
Evitare (avoid) acidic, tinny, off flavor, too salty, watery
Cento, Italian style, peeled with basil
Tuttorosso, Italian peeled, pear shaped in juice
La Bella San Marzano, in puree with basil  Red Pack pear shaped, peeled with puree 


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Do not assume that tomatoes from Italy are always the best . Overall, we found American brands to be the best. Many Italian brands are flavorless and do not come from Italy (check the label thoroughly). And, since they are undated, they may have been sitting in that tin can for a long time. Look for an expiration date on the label.

N.B. Since the acid in tomatoes interacts with the metal used in cans, try to find tomatoes packed in cans lined with enamel. Likewise, Do not cook tomatoes in an unlined aluminum pan. Canned tomatoes should be used very soon after being opened. Tomatoes oxidize very quickly and lose a great deal of their mineral value once exposed to the air.


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Cooking Techniques

Since I find that seeds are bitter and have an unappealing texture and appearance, I simply remove them by pushing them out with my fingers. I then crush the tomatoes with my hands or a fork. There are two basic approaches to cooking a sauce.

This approach begins with a sauté of chopped raw vegetables and aromatics to give the mixture body and a fruity flavor. The choice of vegetables and aromatics reflects regional preference and may include garlic, onion, carrot, celery, parsley, mint, or other herbs. These are first sautéed in butter or olive oil or both. These become the foundation upon which the sauce is built.

This approach involves simmering the tomatoes in a pan without fat until the desired consistency is achieved. After cooking, olive oil or butter is added for flavor.

More complex sauces are also built on the foundations of the simple ones with the addition of vegetables to add body and flavor; butter or cream to impart sweetness and smoothness; and wine to deepen flavor. Use only fresh vegetables and herbs and never use dried garlic or onion powder, dried parsley and the like. If delicate fresh herbs such as basil, mint or marjoram are included, add them closer to the end of the cooking time.

Quick cook or long simmered?

Only when a tomato sauce includes meat should it be long simmered. The long, gentle cooking is necessary to tenderize meat and allow its flavor to marry with other ingredients.

A simple tomato sauce implies fresh, fruity flavor and the shorter the cooking time necessary to evaporate excess liquid, the better. It takes at least 10 minutes before the acidic flavor of the tomato is transformed and the tomatoes sweeten, then another 10-20 minutes -- depending on the tomato -- for excess liquid to evaporate. A quick sauce can be made in about 20 minutes and should rarely exceed 45 minutes.


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SAUCE RECIPES

Salsa di pomodoro con burro

This quick chunky sauce is butter based and suitable for fresh and dried pastas. Add a little chopped herbs after cooking.

35 oz can, peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1 small onion, minced
4 T unsalted butter
salt and pepper
optional: chopped herbs

Drain the tomatoes, discarding the juice (or save for another purpose). Using your fingers push out the seeds and discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes with your hand, fork or potato masher. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the onions and 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté until the onions soften and become translucent-but not brown. Add the tomatoes and salt; simmer to blend the flavors, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining butter and season to taste with salt, freshly ground pepper and optional herbs.

Pummarola

This classic Neapolitan sauce begins with a generous vegetable base making it fruity, fragrant and with a great deal of texture. It's more suited to firm, textured dried pasta like bucatini and rigatoni.

2 1/2 C canned, peeled tomatoes in juice
4 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, bruised
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 med celery stalk including leaves, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 T parsley, chopped
2 T tomato paste (if the tomatoes are not intense in flavor)
2 sprigs of basil, torn into small pieces
salt and pepper

Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice. Over a sieve, remove the seeds from the tomatoes, capturing the juice and discarding the seeds. Chop the tomatoes and set them aside from the reserved juice.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, and onion, and sauté until the garlic is golden (not burned) and the onions are translucent. Add the celery, carrot, parsley and basil and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Press down on the vegetables with a wooden spoon to release the flavors. Add the tomato paste, if necessary, and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice and simmer gently until thickened, about 40 minutes.

Remove and discard the garlic cloves and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Finishing the sauce:

For a chunky sauce, remove from the heat and stir in the last tablespoon of olive oil.

For a smooth sauce, remove from the heat, cool a bit and pass the sauce through a food mill pressing out as much pulp as possible. Return to the heat just long enough to heat through. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

N.B. Both of these sauces can be made 4-5 days in advance and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator or in the freezer for 3 months. Before storing, leave out the remaining butter, olive oil and herbs. Stir them into the sauce after reheating.
 
   

Offline Vinnie

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2009, 11:26:06 AM »
I am going to try the fennel thing!....that is a wonderful Idea...
One thing I do with my sauce is too Saute the onions first in Olive oil then the garlic and at the perfect time I add white wine (chardonnay) and reduce it down then I add my tomato sauce. (or red wine if you choose, remember cooking is subjective so what you like. :chef:


Offline pjbear05

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2009, 09:28:28 PM »
 >:( Regarding the mentions in this thread of a "brown tinge", I would be wary of ANY off colored, particularly brown, sauce.  You may have sauce that was not cooked properly, either in or out of its container, or was altered or spoiled during processing.  Not only does that look bad, it might taste bad, and could make a person sick.  If I open the sauce and it's off color, it's going down the drain, not on any food!
"Aw, Paulie?  You won't see him no more!"

Offline PizzaNWingz

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2009, 04:07:02 PM »
Hi gang,

   May I suggest a tomato base for those of you who like Stanislaus' product line.  Try mixing 50/50 their Full Red puree and 7/11 ground tomatoes... ;]

Offline gfgman

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Re: Looking for "World's BEST pizza sauce" - base?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2009, 07:48:52 PM »
I like to use these tomatoes from Simpson Imports.  They are grown in the U.S.  I thought I read NJ, but I don't know.  They have a really strong flavor with a sweet side, but I don't find them to be bitter like other kinds I have tried.  Took me awhile to find a place that carries them. 
I was using redpack for awhile, and it makes a decent pizzeria type sauce, but I don't care for the flavor straight out of the can. 
This can is a mix of crushed and diced.  I've used it straight for fresh salsa and it is awesome.