Author Topic: define NY Sauce  (Read 3762 times)

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Offline gfgman

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define NY Sauce
« on: February 27, 2009, 01:55:47 PM »
I guess it's question day for me.  I'm curious if there is some sort of general protocol for what's in NY style sauce.  I've been reading some of sauce recipes on here, and if people like them, that's what matters.  Some of them are so lengthy and involved, that I can't imagine a pizza operator going to that length for their sauce; especially with the cost involved to obtain all those ingredients.  Even reading what's in Penzeys, it sounds like it makes a more robust and spicy sauce that I wouldn't care for on a NY pizza.  There's a shop close to me that uses a sauce like that on a NY style crust.  I don't go there because I don't like it.  It doesn't help that they put too much sauce on the pie. 
I realize every place has something slightly different, but I can't recall ever going to a slice joint on the boardwalk, or anywhere else in the NY/NJ area that served a pie with a heavy spicy flavor to their sauce.   
I read an article awhile back where a NY pizza operator was quoted as saying he used imported tomatoes, black pepper, and basil for his sauce.  I've been doing the pepper and basil for awhile.  I just recently started adding garlic, and it gives it the added something that I thought was missing.
I'm curious if there is a sort of standard for what's in the sauce, or what's not in the sauce.  I live in central PA, so it's a mixed bag in terms of what you'll find for pizza.  If you stick to Italian folks who got out of the NY area because the cost of living was too high, you're more likely to get a decent pie.  Those american wannabes can't get it right.  At least not for my taste.  I could rant on pizza shops with russian names, but I won't.

GMan 


Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 02:42:32 PM »
GFG,

I'm in central PA as well, grew up on the Island, so I know what you mean about the pizza here.

To me there's only one kind of sauce, good. Even though I can't make a crust for the life of me, I can make a decent fast sauce for a pie. All that is good on my pizza is the sauce, lol. The only difference between a pizza sauce and a pasta sauce, IMO, is more sugar in a pizza sauce.

As an Italian I don't measure anything, it's all by sight and taste as I go along, but here's how I make a good 1-2hr fast sauce with approximates, for what it's worth.

1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes- Furmanos/ Cento, etc
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce- Any is fine, doesn't matter
Fresh or dried parsley
Fresh or dried basil
garlic powder
2 cloves garlic- chopped fine
2-3 medium thick slices of large yellow onion- chopped fine
fresh or dry oregano
red pepper
black pepper
sugar
splash of pinot noir or chianti
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese (shake kind is fine)

In pan or pot heat oil over medium heat, not too much oil, light coating pan is all you want. Fry onions first as they take longer than garlic. Once Onion becomes translucent add garlic, fry until brown. Add whole peeled tomatoes, cut with knife in several places per tomato so when smashed you don't need a new shirt. Use hand held stainless steel potato masher, any will do, and carefully smash each tomato, grinding it into bottom of pan. They will liquefy more when cooked. Get them all to chunky consistency, add small cans of sauce. Over Medium high heat BOIL the tomatoes for about 15 minutes, stirring, smashing and grinding frequently. Once they no longer smell like tomato soup you're there. Lower heat to medium low, add sugar (1 tsp for pasta, 1.5 tbs for pizza...ish) parsley (3 shakes) and wine (nice splash- notice deep red new color!) Stir, Simmer for 40 min. to an hour or so, stirring and smashing a little more occasionally. You want the occasional bubble, not boiling.

Many people add all the spices early under the assumption they have allow time to 'blend' the spices. The only spices you want in so far are the ones I mentioned. What really happens is they lose and burn out the flavor of the spices if done too early.

About 20 minutes before you eat, or remove from heat to cool for pizza, add generous shakes of garlic powder (5-7 shakes if you love garlic, less if not so much) oregano (5 shakes) Basil (just 1 shake or a pinch) Red pepper (2 shakes min, 4-5 if you like spicy) Black pepper (1-2 quick shakes) Parmesan cheese (2-3 shakes) another shake of parsley, Stir, simmer 20 more mins, done!

That's some real NY guido sauce for ya, Enjoy!




« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 02:55:41 PM by NY pizzastriver »
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1

Offline scott r

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 07:44:28 PM »
My experience after hanging around a number of pizzerias throughout the country and in NYC is that most, I would say close to 90% of pizzerias, do not cook their sauce.  They usually concentrate on finding the best possible tomatoes so that they don't have to add anything.  To me the difference between pasta sauce and pizza sauce is that pasta sauce is cooked and pizza sauce is not cooked until it is in the oven on the pizza.  If there is something to be added it is usually oregano, garlic, black pepper, or olive oil with all of these things in very small amounts leaving the sauce with a very fresh taste.  Onion powder, sugar, red pepper and basil seem to pop up from time to time as well.  Again the KEY to a good NY style sauce is that you actually don't have to add anything, so if you are going to add something please make it VERY little.

Offline David

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 08:48:50 PM »
You forget the salt?
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Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 10:55:43 PM »
Again the KEY to a good NY style sauce is that you actually don't have to add anything, so if you are going to add something please make it VERY little.

This raises the question of the use of paste in relation to the true NY sauce. In the other thread on the subject of NY sauce, you mentioned that a lot of places in NY make use of paste, sometimes going as far as to altogether make their sauce out of some paste-type product (Saporito, etc.) they reconstitute with water. Unless I'm really missing something, it seems obvious that the use of paste isn't exactly conducive to maximizing fresh flavour, and so it would seem on the face of it that paste is a commercial expedient to be avoided by the home pizzaman who doesn't have to worry about stretching out ingredients and so forth. On the other hand, though, if paste is what the pros in NYC are using then it's part of the definition of the authentic style by definition, fresh flavour aside. What to do ? 

-JLP
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Offline gfgman

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 11:23:36 PM »
I'm curious mainly about the use of ingredients beyond the basics of basil, black pepper, oregano, and garlic.  I leave the oregano out because my wife doesn't care for it.  Most places offer the red pepper flakes to sprinkle.  I would think if places are using red pepper, or other stuff, it would be noticeable in the taste.  Particularly with the red pepper giving the sauce a more spicy taste.  I can't think of any pizza shops I've been to in the NY area that had a real bold, robust sauce.  It always seems to come across as more tomatoey.  With all due respect to NYPizzaStriver, I'm sure he likes his sauce, but it sounds like the sauce from a place right close to my house that I don't go to because the sauce is just to strong of a robust, spicy flavor for my taste.  Sometimes I do like spicy and I will make a spicy pizza, but I don't care for it with a NY pie.
I simmer my sauce, but only because the best tomato product I have found in local stores so far is too watery and I don't like paste.  I simmer it down some, run it through the magic bullet for 3 seconds to take out some of the chunk, and then add my spices.

GMan

Offline tdeane

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 03:54:21 AM »
Most NY places in my day(the 90's) used a sauce like this: Red Pack crushed tomatoes right out of the can, a sprinkle of oregano. a handful of pamesan or pecorino rommano, and then the mozzarella.  Never any cooking of the sauce and they would put it on the pizza just like that.

Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 07:56:29 AM »
TD, Right you are. In working at one as a kid I know no pizza place is making a 2 hour fresh sauce, or spending this kind of money for ingredients. Does it rock on a pizza? Hell yeah!

GMan, It's actually not very spicy at all unless you go nuts with the pepper and garlic. Very little oregano too all in all. It's also not a think heavy marinara, instead a very light refreshing sauce. That's why I use whole peeled and not crushed. I don't get into pastes unless I'm doing an all day sauce.

David, the couple shakes of cheese acts as the salt.
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1

Offline scott r

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2009, 12:58:49 PM »
David, I did forget the salt.  Thanks for noticing that! 

It should be noted that the most popular brands of california grown tomato products (Escalon, Stanislaus, Old California, Hunts, San Benito, etc) have way more salt in them than Italian tomatoes.  It seems as if most places using american tomatoes skip the salt, and like terry mentioned, dont cook it or add anything other than a sprinkle of oregano and maybe some cheese.  Places using Italian tomatoes definitely use salt.

As far as the crushed vs. paste thing, from what I have seen the places making higher quality pizza that aren't afraid of higher food costs are using crushed, or crushing down their own tomatoes, while the places making a typical generic NY style are thinning out a thicker product like Bonta or Saporito.   


« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 01:01:45 PM by scott r »

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2009, 12:44:14 PM »
I know I am bring up an old post but I had to. When I first started making pizza's the first 3 weeks I didn't cook the sauce because people were saying not to "NY style pizzerias don't cook their sauces". I tried that and every time the water from the sauce was way to much and the pizza would come out soggy. The past 3 weeks I have been cooking the sauce for about 2 hours to get the water out and get the consistency I wanted, and I can tell you it is way better this way than just out the can crunch add the seasonings and top.


Offline EJB

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2009, 06:05:01 PM »
For what it's worth I only use Cento brand San marzano peeled tomatoes. I dump a 28 oz. can in the blender with some salt and black pepper and spin it up for about 10 seconds and it's done. The flavor of the San Marzano's really pop compared to others. One can is more than enough for rwo 18" pizzas. I know taste is subjective but friends who grew up in Brooklyn say it's the best pizza sauce they have had since they left there.

Offline Jack

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2009, 12:38:51 AM »
I grew up on Long Island and what I remember varied from place to place, but the sauce was nothing special, sometimes a bit acidic, but never sweet.  Now I make my pizza with whatever "better" sauce Costco has in stock and add a fe different italian seasonings.  Ok, so I'm no gourmet, but folks around here request my pizza (NY STyle and Sicilian) on a regular basis.

While I may scrimp on sauce and I use Costco's part skim mozz, I only use excellent Parmesamo Reggiano and it seems to bring everything else together nicely.  Also, I lost my KASL supplier and now use Pembertons Power flour.  It's a 13.5% protein, non-Bromated unbleached flour.  It does not sift well, but it's hard to tell the difference between it and KASL in the finished product.  More and more I'm starting to believe that how you make the pie may be more important that what you put in it.

Jack, around Seattle

Offline Goodgulf

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Re: define NY Sauce
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 05:20:16 AM »
I tried that and every time the water from the sauce was way to much and the pizza would come out soggy.

What I found works really well for this problem is to put my tomatoes (I use the six in one brand) in a mesh strainer. A lot of the water simply drains out, but the tomato solids stay put. This makes a world of difference, and makes for a more vibrant tomato flavor as well.