If you are looking for an oustanding pizza sauce recipe, here are a couple of really good but simple ones that I think you will like.
Unlikely as it may seem, pizza sauce can be a bit of a hot topic amongst chefs. Debates rage about whether it should be pre-cooked or not, what herbs should be used, what kind of tomatoes to use, should sauce be used at all? So what is the best pizza sauce recipe? I've included a recipe below for a cooked sauce and an uncooked sauce. Let me know which you like best.
For me, the trick is to keep it simple. Good tomatoes and oregano with a bit of seasoning is really all you need for the best pizza sauce. I also like to add garlic, depending on my mood. Use good ingredients and you won't go far wrong.
Traditionally Italian San Marzano tomatoes are considered the best tomatoes for pizza but any good quality plum tomato is ok.
All canned tomatoes are definitely not the same though. Some cheap supermarket canned tomatoes are bitter and metallic tasting so experiment with different brands and varieties of tomato.
Oregano is the classic pizza herb and the best pizza sauce recipe has to have oregano, I think. Dried oregano is excellent and practical but if you don't usually use it, why not try fresh oregano.
You might be surprised at how easy it is to grow fresh oregano in a small pot.
It's a wonderful herb to have to hand, really delicious in any recipe for pizza sauce or just scattered over the pizza when it's still hot from the oven.
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 400g/14 oz can of whole tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano or a teaspoon of dried oregano
¼ teaspoon of sugar or to taste
Salt and pepper
1. Put the olive oil in a large pan or skillet and heat gently.
2. Keeping the heat at low to medium, add the garlic and cook slowly for a couple of minutes. You just want to release the flavours so it shouldn't start to brown.
3. Add the tomatoes, herbs, sugar and seasoning. If your tomatoes are really good and sweet, you may not need any sugar. Taste your tomatoes to check. Roughly chop your tomatoes in the pan with a knife as they start to cook to help them break down.
You can use chopped or crushed tomatoes but whole canned tomatoes overall tend to be of a better quality. Just because I think it's easier for the dregs to end up in your can when you buy chopped. I've seen cans of chopped tomatoes that have multiple green stems, a lot of sludgy tomato juice and not much else. Now this isn't always the case, so if you have a good brand of chopped tomatoes that you use, work away.
This will make about enough sauce for two 12 inch pizzas. The recipe below does the same.
This one is proof that the best pizza sauce recipes are the simplest. This is hardly a recipe at all, it's so easy. But try it. You'll wonder why you bothered buying pizza sauce when you can make a wonderful sauce with so so little effort. Not cooking the tomatoes adds a really lovely freshness to your sauce. Better still it's a very low fat pizza sauce - zero fat in fact!
1 400g/14 oz can of good quality whole tomatoes, drained
Half teaspoon of dried oregano or a tablespoon of fresh
Sugar to taste, about ¼ teaspoon
Salt and pepper
Place the tomatoes in a bowl with the herbs, sugar and seasoning and mix well. Crush the mixture with a fork or for a few seconds in a food processor until they are chopped but still a little chunky. Spread sparingly on your pizza.
Personally, I think this is perfect as it is but you can play around with it. Try adding garlic, other dried herbs (thyme, basil), chilli flakes or even a few drops of balsamic vinegar (use this sparingly).
I always freeze my pizza sauce in small portions in silicone ice trays or in a mini muffin pan. It's a really good way to keep homemade pizza sauce on hand all of the time. I like the mini muffin size best but you could use ice trays instead. I definitely recommend silicone whichever size you use. Traditional plastic ice trays can be a pain for this kind of freezing - attacking the tray with a knife, running it under the tap, attacking it again, losing half of it in the sink. I'm sure you know what I mean if you've used them. With silicone, the frozen sauce just pops out perfectly with zero effort.To freeze your pizza sauce, fill the muffin holes with spoonfuls of sauce and open freeze the pans for a few hours. Once they are frozen, pop them into Ziploc bags. So if you freeze your dough and freeze your best pizza sauce recipe, Friday night pizza becomes a breeze. Take a ball of dough and some "sauce muffins" out of the freezer in the morning for a great dinner that requires more assembly than cooking.