Author Topic: Perfect pizza sauce  (Read 11496 times)

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Offline Steve973

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Perfect pizza sauce
« on: November 28, 2009, 11:35:26 PM »
Hey all,

I have tried lots and lots of different recipes; some required cooking, and others didn't.  By far, the best one I've tried doesn't require cooking, and it really couldn't be simpler.  I know that people look for so many different things in pizza sauce, but if you try this one, I think you will be very pleased.  It goes like this:

28 oz can of sauce.  Hunts/Contadina/Giant supermarket brand are all fine, and probably other brands are, too.
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sugar

Mix everything together, and place in a sealed container in the refrigerator overnight.

If anybody tries this, please post some feedback.
"Right here, right now, from the very beginning, there is only one thing. Constantly clear and unexplained, having never been born and having never died, it cannot be named or described." - Zen Master So Sahn


Offline ThunderStik

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 12:08:36 PM »
I may try this, I have been looking for a good simple sauce that has good flavor. I usually stop by my local joint and just buy their sauce. Its cheap and its easy, its also good but I feel somehow im cheating.
I KNOW MORE ABOUT PIZZA THAN ANYBODY!!!!!!!

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Offline BTB

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 10:38:53 AM »
Steve, please don't take this wrong, but when one mentions "Hunts" and "Contadina" cans of sauce in a "perfect" pizza sauce recipe, to many it throws the credibility of what follows straight out the window and gives a strange meaning to the word "perfect."

Offline norma427

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 11:50:21 AM »
Steve973, ThunderStik and BTB,
If anyone is interested in trying a sauce I posted on before here is the link.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9617.msg84246.html#msg84246   
Happy sauce making to all of you.  :)
Norma
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Offline BTB

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 12:14:34 PM »
Norma,

Now that's a sauce!  The base tomato product is all important.  Stanislaus, Escalon, Pastenes, Glen Muir and many other quality tomato products (even Walmarts) are the key to the "perfect" sauce.

Offline norma427

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 12:31:52 PM »
BTB,
Thanks for saying now that's a sauce.
I use the Stanislaus at my stand and add these ingredients below, but have experimented with others at home.  I donít know how anyone really wants the sauce taste like or the consistency they really want, but depending on how much someone wants to make, these ingredients can make a tasty sauce.
Walmart great value tomatoes
fresh red onion and fresh garlic-salute
fresh herbs, parsley, oregano, and basil-microwaved or add after sauteing red onion and garlic and saute a little longer
add some red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese
Kosher Salt
A small amount of olive oil
A little ground pepper
A little granulated sugar
If you want a thicker sauce add tomato paste
maybe a little dried oregano
Let sit in refrigerator over night.
You just have to play around with these ingredients and you should come up with a good sauce.
Good luck,
Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Steve973

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2009, 05:42:34 PM »
BTB, you scoff, but if you haven't tried it, it seems like it would be hard for you to make an accurate assessment.  In my younger days, I have worked in Philadelphia pizzerias, and that is how the authentic sauce of that area is made.   I have tried making this type of sauce with a can of San Marzano tomatoes, and it doesn't come remotely close, even after adjusting for salt and spice differences.  It's really inexpensive to make a batch of the sauce I described, so try making a NY style pizza with my sauce and another with a tomato base that meets your standards.  Compare, and you will be surprised.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 05:49:01 PM by Steve973 »
"Right here, right now, from the very beginning, there is only one thing. Constantly clear and unexplained, having never been born and having never died, it cannot be named or described." - Zen Master So Sahn

Offline Aldo

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2009, 03:29:49 AM »
Norma wrote:
...
fresh herbs

Norma, I have come full circle on herbs in sauces.  I used to use only dry, but now I use only fresh.  Oregano grows well just about anywhere, so I've got some in my yard, which makes it easier.  Basil, I'll often need to buy fresh.

I've found that pressing fresh garlic into a pan, then adding oil and heating it up slow, then adding chopped fresh herbs, sauteeing for ten minutes on medium heat, then adding to tomatoes is the flavor I've loved most.  I noticed you commented on the use of fresh herbs.  Have you also found fresh best?  Or have you found you can you achieve indiscernably good resuts with dry?

Anyone else, too, thoughts on fresh vs. dry?

And on garlic: I use dry garlic powder in some dishes -- but NEVER in pizza sauce.  S'gotta be fresh squeezed/pressed.

Offline norma427

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2009, 04:54:51 AM »
Aldo,
Everyone is looking for a different flavor profile.  Some people only like fresh herbs and other people liked to add dry herbs.  Of all the pizza sauces I have tasted in my life, there are so many different flavor profiles.  If you look at all the kinds of pizzas made on this forum, each individual usually likes something different.  There are usually different pizza sauces that many people are loyal to.  It all depends on what kind of pizza you are making.     
I have found by experimenting that I only like fresh herbs added when I make the sauce. I usually use a food processor. I still have oregano and parsley growing outside.  My basil has died.  I am trying to grow basil inside, but not with much luck. I am also buying fresh basil, now.  At the farmerís market I shop, they sell fresh herbs in little containers for people to plant inside for 1.99. I do add a little dried oregano to my pizza sauce with the other ingredients I mentioned.  There are many posts on this forum how people buy different things so they can grow their own fresh herbs inside. 
When I have time, I am going to make another pizza sauce with the tomatoes from Wal Mart and compare that to what I am using now.  I did that before, but want to go back and try it, again.
A few years ago when I was trying different chili recipes, I found that I like the Wal Martís crushed  tomatoes, paste, and  sauces better than others.  Then I added different chili powders and other ingredients to get the flavor profile I wanted. I also added fresh spring onions, fresh garlic and fresh cilantro to that sauce.
It will be interesting to see what other people post as their favorite recipes and how they go about preparing them.
Norma
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Offline Steve973

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 12:56:52 AM »
Even though this thread was hijacked, I think the simplicity of the recipe posted in the original post and the resulting flavor will stand for itself.  You can get as hung up on ingredients as you want, and you can pay extra for other products, but I believe that might be a waste of time, money, and effort.  BTB and Norma, I challenge you both to try your preferred sauces and put them against mine in a side-by-side comparison on two pizzas made the same way with the only exception being the sauce.
"Right here, right now, from the very beginning, there is only one thing. Constantly clear and unexplained, having never been born and having never died, it cannot be named or described." - Zen Master So Sahn

Offline Buffalo

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 03:57:39 AM »
Steve973;

I have tried many sauce recipes...many you cook, many you let sit forever to "meld" the flavors, etc, etc, etc.  Your sauce formula is very very good...I would even say excellent.  Is it for everone?  Probably not, nothing ever is.  But I like it very much and it is...to me...very reminiscent of the "old pizzeria" flavor profile.  Keep up the good work.
Buffalo :chef: :D

Offline BTB

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 11:10:56 AM »
. . . this thread was hijacked . .
Hijacked? ? ?  I can usually appreciate the problem of having a thread hijacked - - I've had many of mine go that way.  But for you, define hijacked?  You put something out here and claimed it was "perfect pizza sauce."  Cannot one say something different or add their thoughts to it, esp. when they may think its far from "perfect"?  I didn't see any disrespect.  I saw other opinions.  I would normally think the best definition of hijacked is going way off the subject and I didn't see that here. What's your definition?
 
Boy, for my part, you did "take it wrong."  I never commented on the spices you suggested, which are good.  I was talking about a "perfect pizza sauce" in terms the tomato brand that you "suggested" would be the perfect tomato base to constitute a "perfect" sauce.  And I think that it is perfectly proper for one to express a personal contrary opinion on such as long as it's properly done. 
 
If you could peek into, as many have, the kitchen shelves of most of the pizzerias across the country, you would probably almost never see "Hunts," "Contadina", or the likes of even a Del Monte on their shelves.  What would you see and why?  You would see many of the styles of Stanislaus, Escalon, Pastenes, Full Red, San Marzano and others.  Rich, flavorful, and tasty tomato products.  Maybe your taste buds relative to tomatoes differs from many of those pizzerias.  It's my experience that utilizing the Hunt's type of tomato products would be an extreme rarity at the great pizza places across America. 

Try to tell the Pizzaiolo's at the new style Neapolitanish pizza places that they could substitute Hunts or Contadina and see their response.  While they may prefer their specially sourced San Marzano's, they would still have great respect for the products from Stanislaus, Escalon and the others mentioned.  Would they have such for the Hunts and like products?  You know the answer.
 
If anyone should visit a pizzeria (in Philadelphia or elsewhere) and see Hunt's or Contadina sauce on their kitchen shelves, it would be my personal suggestion (just a suggestion) that you run fast away as you might get a better meal elsewhere.  IMO.  But different strokes for different folks.
 
Now regarding Norma's sauce approach, what I absolutely loved about her style was her realistic cooking approach in adding "a couple of cloves" of this, "part of" that, put in "some of" this and "some of" that, along with "you want to add a little" of this or "about 1 tsp for your taste,"  etc.  I'm sorry for any who don't like it, but that is a professional cook in my book.  I know, I know, people want the exact dimensions of the rooms and need exact measurements.  And I and Norma have to do that at alot of times.  But nothing replaces the finger in the sauce to see if . . . . "ummmm, that tastes good."
 
Steve, I had -- in many threads on this site -- put my various recipes (of sorts) for sauces that I've used (detailing all the ingredients).  In none have I claimed to be perfect, but I thought pretty good and many thought so, too.  But I'm not thin skinned.  Do the search, check them out and take pot shots at them if you'd like.  As I prefer, I generally don't say a quarter tsp of this and 2 Tbls of that, as I'm rarely inclined to do so.  Some of this and some of that and tasting with your finger is -- like Frank Sinatra -- "my way."
 
But in the end, if the Hunt's or Contadina product is the "perfect" tomato base for your perfect pizza sauce and is what you and your family like, that's what's all important.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 09:19:22 AM by BTB »

Offline thezaman

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 01:25:24 PM »
i tried your recipe using 28 oz by weight of full red tomato sauce. the flavor was good nice balance of herbs. the only ingredient that was heavy was the salt. tomato sauces as bases are usually salted. next time i will leave that out. a pinch of fennel and i think you have a winner!

Offline norma427

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2009, 02:06:49 PM »
Steve973,
All I was trying to say was different strokes for different folks..and everyone likes something different.  What you might like and what I might like on different pizzas could be very different.
If you look at this months Monthly Challenge you will see the topic is ďMy Favorite Red Pizza Sauce.Ē   My submission was a comparison with the Stanislaus products I use at my pizza stand to using Great Value tomato products from Walmart.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9744.0.html Reply #2
I was just giving suggestions..sorry if you think I high-jacked your thread.
Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Trogdor33

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2009, 02:44:51 PM »
I am going to have to side with BTB here. I wouldn't have even mentioned anything to begin with, but since you are so bent on defending this, I decided to speak up. When I first saw you start this thread, I read up until "28 oz can of sauce  Hunts/Contadina/Giant supermarket brand are all fine", had a quick chuckle and hit the back button.

Your pontification on how you have single handedly bested not only everyone on this forum, but the likes of the best pizzerias on earth could be taken by some as either arrogant or naive, but will not likely be taken seriously. If you would have acted less authoritatively and more accurately titled the post "My Favorite Sauce", I suspect this thread would have gone in a different direction. When you identify something as "my favorite", no contest of that fact is possible since it's totally in your control. When you label something to be "perfect" or "the best", that excludes out everything else and is contestable. You would do well to not get your skibbies in a bunch when you make such a bold, authoritative statement and receive a speedy rebuttal.
For all you non-geeks who may be wondering what the name trogdor is all about, have a look here: http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail58.html

Offline BTB

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2009, 03:14:48 PM »
Another thought I had afterwards . . . these threads -- as many know -- have a tendency to live on for many, many years.  And if you use various internet search engines you might come across one for a "perfect pizza sauce" that you wrote here on this well respected website.  I want others to know that there are many out here that don't think any pizza sauce utilizing the brands of tomato products you suggested in any way constitute the "perfect pizza sauce,"  .  .  .  which was my original point!

Offline Enrique

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2009, 09:43:31 PM »
It's so funny to find people getting testy about pizza sauce.


Offline Essen1

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 10:20:05 PM »
Guys,

Here's a little anecdote from my teenage years when me and a friend were arguing about music.

He liked the band Queen and I was into AC/DC. Of course, we both thought our respective bands were the ultimate in Rock. We occasionally used to get into heated discussions about it but after stopping short of getting into a fist fight, we decided that you cannot really argue about taste.

To this day, I still remember it whenever it comes to discussion where taste is involved.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline loowaters

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2009, 07:56:53 AM »
Nicely stated by BTB in reply 11.  Also, I'm with Trogdor on seeing the suggestion of tomato product causing me to hit the back button.  Steve, thicker skin, buddy.  There's plenty to learn here and by using some of the suggested tomato product with your spice pack, maybe your "perfect sauce" will become more perfect-er-er.   ;)

Loo
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Offline Steve973

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2009, 11:51:04 PM »
The replies here have been interesting, and I have some replies of my own.  I perceived a note of condescension about my choice of tomato base, BTB.  You may or may not have intended it, but that's basically irrelevant.  I thought it was funny, since it was obvious that you didn't try the sauce that I mentioned, but since it didn't have ingredients that you preferred, it seemed like you thought it could never measure up.  Instead if you tried it, and then you suggested some alterations after you evaluated it with more than your eyes, I could have respected your opinion much more.

I entitled the thread "perfect pizza sauce" to get people to view it.  Perfection simply doesn't exist.  It is quite funny when people turn their nose up at supermarket pizza sauce.  It is obviously not the same product as a canned Italian tomato, but no one will say how or why it is inferior.  And as I have stated, I have used some of the so-called better tomato products, and the result is not nearly as good as it is with nearly any canned sauce.

The other thing that is interesting is that people can question someone's taste, but if that person responds in defense, they must be "thin skinned".  If I use a product that is looked down upon, I should just try to "learn form the experts", since surely no one can learn from something they might have possibly overlooked due to prejudice. 

The other thing is that sauce flavor seems to develop over a day or two, and merely dipping your finger in and tasting as you are making the sauce might not be quite indicative of the result when the flavors blend and become more prominent.  Measurements provide accuracy and consistency.

Am I that far off base here?  I have been asking questions and learning from the experts since I joined this forum.  It is a wealth of impressive information, but if somebody is going to deliver haughty criticism, I'm definitely going to call them on it.  But I apologize if I offended either BTB or Nora.  If you like your sauces, then go with what you prefer.  Thanks to those people who tried my sauce and provided feedback.
"Right here, right now, from the very beginning, there is only one thing. Constantly clear and unexplained, having never been born and having never died, it cannot be named or described." - Zen Master So Sahn

Offline aptfive

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2009, 07:29:15 PM »
hahahaha ...your spot on my pizza friend.

Offline BTB

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2010, 09:03:59 AM »
Contrary to the impression given, Steve, this old salt has indeed tried Hunts, Contadina, Del Monte and similar tomato products for . . .  decades.  They are "average" to "lousy" at best in my personal estimation.  Again just a personal opinion.  And I've found so many people, which is unusual, to agree that that is generally the case and that the other great tomato products mentioned on this site are really super great for all kinds of tomato based sauces.  Let's just agree to disagree.  I don't think any pizza sauce made with Hunt's tomato products -- or the like -- should be used in the same breath as the term "perfect pizza sauce."  Again, my strong personal opinion only.  You think otherwise.  Your spices are fine, as I said before.  Again, I am just talking about the "base" tomato product used in connection with the term "perfect."  And again, yes I have tried the base product . . . . . . many, many times, as most have on this site.

I entitled the thread "perfect pizza sauce" to get people to view it.
What? Just to view it and not expect responses with a contrary view?

Quote
. . . they must be "thin skinned
WHO is thin skinned?

Quote
Measurements provide accuracy and consistency.
No one can possibly disagree.  But I'll never follow that "for better or for worse."

Quote
. . . somebody is going to deliver haughty criticism
I didn't see haughty criticism here.  But if I came across that way, I am sorry.

I didn't intend to be condescending or insulting and I apologize if it was taken that way, Steve.  Sometimes words or expressions in a blog response or email looks far different from what the author intended.  I was hoping the words "please don't take this wrong" would connote that, but I see I was not successful.  If we were talking across the table, I'm sure we would be fairly civil and friendly, even if disagreeing.  Please continue to participate and make the best pizza product you can.  Just be aware that if you should mention sauces with "those" tomato based products (not the spices you mentioned), you are very likely to find many people that just may hit the "back button" and disregard the report.    --BTB
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 11:23:57 AM by BTB »

Offline csacks

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2010, 11:48:17 AM »
I tried this sauce with Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes.  The sauce was very good and I plan to use it back and forth with my other current favorite.  I think Hunts would give it more of a salty taste than Dei Fratelli.  That probably would be a good thing.  Nice mild flavor to this sauce.

I can buy Dei Fratelli locally.  It is the best local brand that I can buy without going to the expense of buying mail order Escallon, and Marzanos.  I use Dei Fratelli petite diced for my salsas and it works really nice.  It's not what I would call fresh tomatoes out of a can, but few canned tomatoes are. 

Really glad I tried this sauce.

Offline Steve973

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2010, 01:11:22 PM »
BTB, I am curious if you can give some qualitative reasons why you believe these store bought canned tomato sauces are inferior to some of the other brands.  Do you dislike the fact that some spices are already added?  Do these sauces take on some off-flavor that you don't prefer?  I don't have any vested interest in the supermarket brands, but there is a certain kind of authenticity that I am trying to reproduce, and I have been unsuccessful in that regard with canned whole tomatoes (san marzano, etc).  The flavored base really seems to boost the resultant sauce.  However, I'm open minded, and I love to experiment, so please feel free to make some recommendations.  It might be worthwhile to throw this together to get an idea of what I'm going for, if you're interested.  It would be great to make something very close to this by using fresh ingredients from scratch, but the lower temperature, low pressure boiling that these companies can do seems to achieve something in their sauces that is hard to reproduce.
"Right here, right now, from the very beginning, there is only one thing. Constantly clear and unexplained, having never been born and having never died, it cannot be named or described." - Zen Master So Sahn

Offline Bob1

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Re: Perfect pizza sauce
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2010, 01:38:12 PM »
Steve,
I tried your sauce and it is very good.  You may want to check out Red Novembers Microwave extraction method with your ingredients, In case you want to develop it faster.  One thing I did not see posted among all the other info is the fact that not only personal taste makes a difference, but other major factors.  It also depends on the type of cheese used and the cook temp/time for those ingredients to blend, and of course the thickness of the crumb.  It amazes me on how a little variation in one variable can change the taste.  
My grandmother was from Chieti so we have an original family sauce recipe for pasta that is only spiced with a tiny bit of garlic.  I have been making it for over 30 years.  The other ingredients are olive oil, browned meat, and Pecorino cooked for three hours.  I have it every week and have used many tomato products including 300lbs of my own tomatos every year.  I found because of the purity the recipe the fresher the tomato product the better.  I have been using 6 in 1 for quite awhile now and because of it I prefer pasta night over steak night (Fillet Mignon) any day. That being said I feel that the more spice added the less important the quality of the product, but it still is a factor.   The biggest issue I see with using the "Shelf" brands is controlling the salt content more than anything.  
In regards to all the heated discussion I would rather try to add my input for you to try a variation of your sauce recipe using one of the products that the others are talking about.  Let's consider it a "Compromise for the purpose of constructive action for both sides" I would suggest to put two Tbs of EVOO in a pot and add all your spice except the salt and sugar.   Heat it up to a simmer only until you can start to smell the herbs.  Is important not to fry them.  I would then add a product like 6 in 1 and an extra 1/4 tsp of salt, with remaining salt and sugar.  I usually heat the tomatoes up until they it get hot.  I then refrigerate and use the next day.  The sauce can be used right away but it does improve over night.  
If you decide to experiment using fresh tomato puree.  I think that you will find that the fat will bring things together for the better, and come closer to the sauce you are using now.  

Thanks,

Bob1