• #1 by NY pizzastriver on 18 Aug 2010
  • As I just mentioned in my reply on this thread...,11639.msg107143.html#msg107143

    here is how to make a sauce to be proud of, that people will call the best sauce on a pizza they ever had. I gave some reasons for the recipe there, but to add another I have taken a lot out of this site and it would be great to see the people who have helped me benefit from a better sauce. As I said there so many just never try, or think what the pizza shop does is a good sauce. I'll tell ya once I started making pizza the one thing I can't get by in the shops is the sauce. I've read people who think whole peeped tomatoes are cooked and ready to use. They are blanched for 3 seconds to remove the peel, far from anything close to cooked! The other thing you'll see answered below is the age old q, to season early to let the spices bond, or season at the end for the fresher flavors. The answer is a combo of both for a base and fresh later. Hope you try it, let me know, and never add it warm to a skin!  

    1tbs olive oil, smear around bottom. Med high heat until hot.
    5.5 tbs chopped onion, sauté about 2-3 mins until slightly brown
    Add 2-2.5 tsp, 3 large cloves, fine chopped garlic. Saute’ about 1 minute as it will brown fast.
    Add 35 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (cento is my usual) with basil leaf, remove leaf.
    Add 15 oz can plain tomato sauce. (Hunts is fine)
    Cut tomatoes, then smash with potato smasher, circular motion hard against pan.
    Add 1.5 tsp dry, or 2.5 tsp fresh chopped parsley.
    Add 1 1/4 tsp sugar.

    Slowly bring to boil, reduce to medium heat so boil stays steady. Continually stir and smash. Relax on this though as what is whole and lumpy now will break down.
    Boil uncovered 5-6 mins. If reduction is too rapid 1/2 cover with lid, but remember there's a lot of water to rid in this period.
    Continue to boil 5 more mins. If you have 1/2 covered 5 mins ago remove uncover for 1 minute for final reduction. When it smells more like cooked tomatoes, not tomato soup, lower heat. Total boil time 12-15 mins.

    Chop and add 3 large basil leaves, ½ tsp, or 1 tsp dry.
    Add another ¾ tsp dry parsley or 1 ½ tsp fresh chopped.
    Add the following all at once
    ½ tsp garlic powder.
    1tsp dry or 2 tsp fresh chopped oregano.
    2 shakes Italian seasoning.  
    1 shake thyme
    2 shakes dry red pepper.
    6 shakes black pepper.
    2 shakes salt.
    2 tsp red wine, pinot noir is nice.
    ½ tsp parmesan/ or Romano cheese. (or combo of 2)

    Cover and simmer on low heat 1.5- 2 hrs. Just a couple bubbles should be coming up within 20 minutes. If sauce gets too thin for your liking uncover, you have complete control over thickness during this 2 hr period.
    Before serving or, removing from heat for later use, add another ¼ tsp oregano and a pinch of fresh basil.  Manja!
  • #2 by onemsmom on 18 Aug 2010
  • Thanks for posting this!  I've already printed it & will give it a whirl on my next pies.

  • #3 by NY pizzastriver on 18 Aug 2010
  • No problem, and do! I just fixed and UNcover typo in bold above, note that. Also I will add if you can use fresh parsley, oregano and basil do! I grow mine, gardens and great sauce go hand in hand.
  • #4 by Essen1 on 18 Aug 2010
  • Jimbo,

    Good to see you back on here!!

    Thanks for the recipe. I'll give this concoction a test drive next time I'll make some sauce. Sounds promising, bro.  ;D

    On another note, and I'm not trying to rain on your parade, I have tested, tried and experimented with different types of sauces, different herbs and tomatoes but have recently come to the conclusion that so far the best tasting sauce was the most simple one:

    Crushed whole peeled tomatoes, some sea salt, a little oregano and a little sugar. A few pulses with a stick blender and that's it.

    I believe that the cheese one uses has a big impact on how the sauce tastes on the final crust, but those are only my personal observations...

  • #5 by chickenparm on 19 Aug 2010
  • I Love this post and will def try it sometime!
    Thanks for the info!

    That said,it is alot of time/work to make a pizza sauce when alot of great places dont spend this kind of time doing it..but for home use and not commerical,it sounds like a good afternoon recipe to get ready for dinner.
  • #6 by NY pizzastriver on 19 Aug 2010
  • Mike and Chickenparm, thanks for the props and yeah give it a try, it's worth it!

    Mike, you say you experimented with tomatoes and sauces, but where they all raw and thrown in a food processor, or were any ever cooked well seasoned? I mean right off if you're not cooking onion and garlic in a evoo to start you're never going to have it tasting right. So did any at least start that way?

    As coincidence would have it I made a batch yesterday, and picked some herbs to use, drying the rest, for the occasion. I wanted to add my 2 cents on fresh oregano, seen below, as when you buy it from the store it can be better than growing it. I seem to have a more common oregano growing, not as much flavor as say Cretan or rigani. Point is on measurements you really need to taste as the sauce progresses to see what's missing. This is why teaching sauce making is hard if you don't have the person there to taste with you to decipher as you go along. That said the recipe above, which took some effort on a long day to create, is a good basic Italian sauce. I specified that I'm northern decent and style. This was no offense to Sicily, great people, but they use far too much garlic and blow out any chance for seasonal nuance.

    On a closing note Chickenparm, yes it takes awhile, but frankly it can be reduced to an hour simmering and a final taste test with adjustment. But with a little less sugar, the only difference, this sauce is also ready to go for pasta/lasagna/baked ziti, or your favorite Italian dish. Since it's not cooking meatballs for 3 hours you can really speed it up, the key is getting the tomatoes close to cooked in that first 15 mins.  Yesterday I made baked ziti and decided I'd take a couple pics of the fresh picked herbs, yesterdays cherry and Roma harvest, and finished work to share. 90 minute sauce as the meatballs and sausage were frozen from prior meal. Check out that vintage 70's bowl!

  • #7 by norma427 on 19 Aug 2010
  • NY pizzastriver,

    I will have to try your authentic sauce, since you are recommending it.  I have different kinds of tomatoes, basil, and oregano growing at my place.  I do really like Les’s sauce and it is so easy to make, so I will see how your authentic pizza sauce compares. I also like your vintage bowls.  Your baked ziti, looks delicious, too.  :)

    Thanks for the recipe.  ;D

    Some of my tomatoes I picked yesterday pictured below.

  • #8 by chickenparm on 20 Aug 2010
  • Ny,dammit you are making me HUNGRY!

    Again,thanks for taking all that time to post it all..I wish we were neighbors so you can show me the things you learned up close and I would buy all the ingredients!

    I love the fact that the sauce you posted can be used as a pasta sauce as well...the versatility is very good,and allows one to make enough to spread it around on other dishes besides our favorite food.

  • #9 by NY pizzastriver on 25 Aug 2010
  • Norma, nice batch! Ain't it great having tomato plants?! This is my first year doing a garden, just loving it.

    Chickenparm, yes absolutely it's an all around sauce, and really more a pasta sauce which is why people are so blown away when it shows up on my pizza... I reckon.

    So lately I have been doing sauce from scratch using homegrown. A combo of beefsteak and Roma's, the cherry tomatoes I grow are just fun snacks.  :)

    It's astonishing how many tomatoes it takes to sauce a couple pizzas. I decided to add a pictorial, to show ease frankly, and perhaps inspire people to try that as well. The bountiful fresh taste, and lack of preservatives and whatever they add, just makes for an unbelievable sauce over canned.

    Very simple cut out stem and crisscross bottom of tomatoes, I even do this on the Roma's. (Pics 1 and 2) You can just remove the stem instead of cut a crater like I tend to do.

    You may read about "blanching baskets" on the net. They are about as important and useful as the thing people buy to crack an egg in half. Just throw them in boiling water, I add some salt to the water. After about 40 seconds that's it. When you see the peels falling off (pic 3) remove into strainer. Rinse with cold water.

    The crisscross is important as the peels come right off to the touch. (Pic 4) MIKE, note the chopped items in front of the tomatoes in pic 4, please start there!

    From there it's 'proceed as above recipe states'. I boiled these for about 20-25 minutes, fast at first and then down to medium heat. Once seasoned it only simmered for 20 minutes as I'm making pizza in 20 minutes and it had to cool. Tastes amazing! Point is you can make sauce for pizza, or whatever, from scratch in an hour if need be. In the end (pic 5) I got a whopping 14 oz of sauce, lol, but perfect for two 14-15" pizzas as I'd hoped for. This again started as 4 large and 10 Roma's.

    Peace and bon appétit!

  • #10 by Essen1 on 25 Aug 2010
  • Quote
    Mike, you say you experimented with tomatoes and sauces, but where they all raw and thrown in a food processor, or were any ever cooked well seasoned? I mean right off if you're not cooking onion and garlic in a evoo to start you're never going to have it tasting right. So did any at least start that way?

    Bro, I have not done so in regards to pizza sauce. However, I have my own special pasta sauce recipe (Ragù alla bolognese) and know first hand what fresh ingredients can do when simmered over a certain period of time.

    Regardless, I'll give it a shot of your pizza sauce perhaps this weekend and if not, definitely during the course of next week. I'm busy right now putting a cooking video together for a contest so perhaps next week will have to do.

    Awesome pictures, btw!  ;D
  • #11 by onemsmom on 02 Sep 2010
  • NY Pizzastriver,

    I am making your sauce this afternoon, and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my little heart, for the way my kitchen smells right now.  Incredible.

    It's absolutely delicious - and hasn't even finished simmering yet. 

    Not sure if it will make it until Fri. night's pizzas, though.  I need to try this on pasta, in a casserole, by the glass.....

  • #12 by NY pizzastriver on 03 Sep 2010
  • By the glass!  :-D

    Your post warmed my heart Jenn, not an easy accomplishment nowadays, so it's me that thanks you. Have you tried it since your post yesterday? Do tell!

    PS, you have beautiful kids, and they love pizza!

  • #13 by onemsmom on 03 Sep 2010
  • Yes, I tried it & it was awesome!  I HAD to rush out to buy (organic chicken :) ) sausage, pasta, mozz & riccotta & made the ziti parm, too.  Best ziti parm of my life.  Kids loved it & asked me to put it on the family favorites list.

    I've made a second (doubled) batch this afternoon & will be eating it on pizza tonight!

  • #14 by onemsmom on 03 Sep 2010
  • Also - do I remember that you had typed something about "don't put it on the pizza WARM" or "don't put it on the pizza COLD".  Can't find it.

  • #15 by NY pizzastriver on 04 Sep 2010
  • I'm glad you and the kids duggit! Yes I said ''never warm your cold skin with hot sauce'', no wait it was ''never skin a warm pizza with cold sauce'', no no that's not it... oh yeah!...

    and never add it warm to a skin! 

    Room temp is best, just take enough out of fridge about an hour before to let it get there. Applying cold sauce is far better than warm but the issue becomes it heating at a rate equivalent to the crust cook time. I.E. crust is dried out and too dark, cheese is barely melted, then you have to broil the top to melt the cheese. Broiling works if planned, but doing it at a late stage is bound to burn the rim ("cornicione" or "pizza bone") even more.

  • #16 by koloa101 on 10 Sep 2010
  • Hi,
    I plan on trying this recipe this weekend. I just would like to ask, am I suppose to add the whole can of whole peeled tomatoes with the liquid and without removing the seeds in the initial step? Thanks!
  • #17 by NY pizzastriver on 10 Sep 2010
  • Hi,
    I plan on trying this recipe this weekend. I just would like to ask, am I suppose to add the whole can of whole peeled tomatoes with the liquid and without removing the seeds in the initial step? Thanks!

    Hi Koloa, nice to see you! Yes, by all means. The boiling down fixes the watery issue, and again you can adjust how thick you'd like it in this time. I like Cento whole peeled w basil leaf as they are cooked more already than other brands.
    They break apart with just a wooden spoon, but mash em down regardless. Also not as many seeds as some other brands. Leave the seeds, you never notice them later, I promise, more important to have a nice bit of tomatoes here and there if ya ask me.

    Please let me know any other questions, and your thoughts after trying! Enjoy.  ;D