Author Topic: Secret sauce info. - sort of  (Read 4365 times)

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Offline bigpix

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Secret sauce info. - sort of
« on: February 15, 2005, 10:05:49 AM »
I got an email from a friend that knows of my love for making pizza. She is looking for more details that may fill in some of the blanks. Her dad and his siblings were first generation Sicilians that owned a pizza shop in Boston many years ago.........

My dad was co owner of a pizza and sub shop in Boston MA when I was a

Unfortunately my dad and his siblings never wrote down exactly how to make
their pizza sauce...which was vastly different from their pasta sauce.
They weren't real good at measurements.  They used fresh herbs when they
could, lots of crushed tomatoes...not diced, not paste, not sauce, it had
to be crushed...I remember that real well, because mom had to buy it
special if dad was going to make pizza for us at home.  The canned Crushed
Tomatoes were used because they had no time to grow their own tomatoes,
and good tomatoes were hard to find year round.  Dad did make sauce with
fresh grown tomatoes years later when he was retired and had a garden and
I can only surmnise from that, that he and his siblings were brought up
making it from fresh tomatoes before going to canned.

Dad always said Pizza sauce was a personal taste...but he used a lot of
basil and some oregano...no Rosemary which he did use in pasta sauce.  He
also used garlic, salt, and pepper, but try as I might I can recall
nothing else that he used in his sauce...yet mine is never as good as his.
Although he and his siblings shared the shop all of them made their sauce
a little different.

The sauce was made in advance in order to let the herbs mingle and the
sauce was reduced down...thickened by long, low simmer. He said the trick
was in making sure the herbs were truly infused into the sauce...so each
bite had a true mingling of the herbs and tomato with whatever toppings
you ordered.

I can't replicate my dad's sauce and I have tried numerous times.  I've
managed to make a decent one...anyway I have gotten compliments from
people on it, but it is no where near the quality of Pizza Sauce my dad us
ed to make.

More to come as is becomes available


Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Secret sauce info. - sort of
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2005, 10:09:42 AM »
Hi BigPix,

I'm sure a lot of the guys will be waiting to hear more from ya on this topic  ;D

Btw, If you are ever in Lynn Mass, see if there is still a place that sells subs..... it's called "Stephie's Subs"

These subs were amazing !! .... I have an American highschool friend that lives in that town ( Lynn ) and we went there several times
when I was there. - wow......

I'm not sure of the spelling of the sub place but it was called "Stephies" ( Maybe after a girls name, but not sure )

Anyway amazing stuff ! oh those subs were good ! ... he's load it up with meat and cheese and if you wanted he'd also load it up
with hot peppers...  oh mannnnn !

Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline bortz

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Re: Secret sauce info. - sort of
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2005, 10:33:32 AM »
That's good news.  My mom has a sauce recipe that's really old that I will try to get ahold of as well.  I've read that you can take spices and throw it in with your tomato product and just let the herbs sit with the sauce (uncooked) for around an hour and that will make good sauce.  I would say, it makes a passable sauce but it's far from good unless you like that raw oregano taste.  I think one of the biggest problems with most sauces is that people over-do the oregano and skimp to much on ther basil.  My mom's sauce is a cooked sauce, which I will try to dig up for you guys.

Offline friz78

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Re: Secret sauce info. - sort of
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2005, 04:17:17 PM »
Here is my mother's and grandmother's philosophy on tomato sauce:

Meat sauce (meatballs, sausage, etc.) needs to be slow cooked for several hours to achieve the proper, rich flavor.  The reason for this is to "slow cook" the meat and allow the excess fat/grease rise to the top of the pan.  This excess is then filtered off the top and removed from the sauce.  Also, the tomato paste that is used in meat sauce also needs time to infuse its way into the canned tomatoes and provide that rich, thickening agent.  Lastly, reducing a meat sauce takes a great deal of the water out of the canned tomatoes and, in turn, places a greater emphasis on the flavors of the meat, spices, etc.

Marinara sauce (meatless sauce) is a TOTALLY different story.  Marinara sauce is ALL ABOUT THE TOMATOES.  Like pizza dough, the best Marinara sauce is that which is left in its simplest form - emphasizing and accentuating one thing - the tomatoes.  To a lesser extent, a few select spices (preferably fresh) will aid in the accentuation of the tomatoes.  Basil is the primary spice that is best used in marinara sauce.  Oregano and garlic tend to be over-used in marinara sauce and, if you're not careful, totally destroy the fresh taste of high quality tomatoes used in a great marinara sauce.  This is normally the sauce of choice when making pizza.

Hope this helps.

Offline bigpix

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Re: Secret sauce info. - sort of
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2005, 05:30:42 PM »
as mentioned before, there was more to come from my friend regarding sauce. Here it is and it is quite interesting. Lots of things to ponder now.

Here it is directly.......

<i>1) Dad did not cook his sauce for pizza at the restaurant and he didn't use fresh herbs all the time.  Too expensive.  They did have a pizza that used fresh basil as a topping. He says I must have gotten confused with when he made it from his home grown tomatoes...my cousin said he would have cooked that...reducing it down as it can be quite watery otherwise, and probably used fresh herbs when making it at home.  As I grow my own herbs I'll probably continue to cook my sauce first, although I may try making a batch raw and one cooked to see which makes me remember dad's sauce more.
2) Garlic...dad only used that when he was making a garlic pizza not in his regular sauce.  In other words he would scoop out X amount of sauce and add fresh crushed garlic to it.  Of course considering dad's love of garlic he may have added it to all his home pizzas.
3) Dad used both Crushed Tomatoes and Canned Tomato Sauce.  I said I didn't remember the canned tomato sauce being in dad's, but he said it was. <Shrug> I know I was just a kid when dad sold the shop, but I sat and watched him make it at home until I was a teenager and I can remember him pouring the crushed tomatoes and mixing herbs and setting the sauce aside, while he made the dough, but I just can't picture him adding any canned tomato sauce.  Again, maybe he made it a little different at home...I just don't know. 
My cousin offered the recipe he uses nowadays, which has grown out of my dad's recipe.  As I mentioned to you, my cousin has owned two pizza shops of his own and worked at several others.  However he is now retired from the working world.  He said that times have changed and he actually uses canned pizza sauce as a start for his sauce as it saves a bit of time...kind of made me sad to hear that.  He also said if you want you can start with crushed tomatoes instead of the canned pizza sauce, which is what our parents did. Of course if you use the crushed tomatoes instead of pizza sauce you may want to add a bbit more herbs.
Oh and the reason mom had to buy the crushed tomatoes special when Dad was making pizza...he insisted it be Italian crushed Tomatoes, and mom usually bought American for making pasta sauce.  Now if you were interested in an awesome pasta sauce I know that one by heart.  :) 
However here is the modified recipe from my cousin.
1 -28 oz can tomato sauce
1- 28 oz can pizza sauce or crushed tomatoes
2 oz olive oil
1/3 cup basil
1/2 cup parsley
1/3 cup oregano
1/3 cup parmaesean cheese (grated0
salt and pepper to taste

mix both cans of tomatoes and oil - then add all dry ingredients and mix well

Now that I have seen this recipe I think it is the parmesan cheese that I need to add to my recipe that I have been playing with.  My cousin siad the above herbs are dried herbs and make sure the sauce is mixed and set aside for at least one hour before making the pizza.




Offline Steve

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Re: Secret sauce info. - sort of
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2005, 05:49:39 PM »
Looks very interesting! My only comment is that 1/3 cup each of the herbs seems like a lot!