The Best Pizza Sauce

A great pizza dough does not necessarily lead to the best pizza. The quality and freshness of your pizza toppings is important, as well as the taste of your pizza sauce.  A great tasting pizza is one that balances these elements.

The pizza sauce is important in pizza making, because it is that which gives the whole dish its unifying flavor. It ties everything together, so to speak. The best pizza sauce is simply a sauce that compliments your pizza toppings and your pizza crust to create a delicious, unifying taste.

Making a great pizza sauce takes a little bit of time and practice, but it is a skill that anyone can learn with a little patience and practice. Start with a simple, basic pizza sauce recipe and increase the number of ingredients and complexity as you develop your skills, and learn what works and what doesn't.

It All Begins with Tomatoes

The most common type of pizza sauce is a tomato based sauce. Using fresh, ripe, locally grown tomatoes is important for a great tasting sauce. Summer is the best time of year to purchase tomatoes, but often you can find locally Now for the best tomato-based sauce, use fresh tomatoes that you have grown yourself. You should avoid supermarket-bought, fresh tomatoes because these are probably ripened through an artificial chemical process. The best type of tomatoes for pizza sauce making is the plum variety.

To prepare your tomatoes, you should remove the seeds and cut these into small chunks. Use a blender to reduce fresh tomato into paste. Add some water and grind well to ensure uniform consistency and texture. However there's nothing wrong with a chunky tomato sauce if you prefer this type of sauce; as long as the pieces are more or less similar in size, then cooking problems should not arise. 

Once you have your tomato base, evaluate its thickness. The best tomato base is a thick one. If you have added too much water during the grinding stage, check now if the sauce is not too thin. Thin pizza sauce will run off and will merely make the dough soggy if so. If you have made an excessively thin tomato base, you should let the lot simmer on low heat to let some of the water to evaporate. Beware that heating your tomato base to get rid of excess water will affect the flavor of your tomato base.

If you don't have your own tomato patch, then just use the canned stuff. It is best to use slightly thick tomato sauce - it is thick, has enough moisture level yet hasn't undergone as much heating (if at all) as tomato concentrate products. On the other hand, you can buy canned tomatoes that haven't been converted to sauce or paste yet. You can use your blender to prepare your tomato base, in this case, adding as much water as you need to achieve desired glueyness.

Then Come the Pizza Sauce Flavorings and Spices

After preparing your tomato base, you should prepare a large, non-stick flat pan for cooking the sauce. To start with, heat some olive oil. Use the extra virgin variety if you want a stronger olive taste; this is especially applicable if you are using olives on your pizza toppings as the olive oil in the sauce will reinforce the flavor of one of the toppings. After heating the oil, you should melt some butter in it.

After heating oil and melting butter, you should start sauteing the usual ingredients: onions and garlic. Mince the onions and garlic if you want the best possible flavor. You can even transform your garlic into garlic paste then increase the amount of garlic used if you want a distinctly garlicky taste. When the garlic is mildly brown and the onion transparent, pour in the tomato based that you have made according to the above instructions. Mix everything but don't take too long. After a few seconds of adding and stirring the tomato, onion and garlic mixture, you should add salt, pepper (crushed pepper works best for a hotter pizza sauce recipe) and when nearly cooked, all the other spices.

The first ingredient that comes to mind is salt. Another is sugar. The first one is definitely a requirement while the second one is optional; people who love a sweet-tasting tomato pizza sauce can add sugar.

Italian style pizza naturally has basil and oregano. If you are using the fresh leaves, chop them into small pieces. If you are using dried herbs, crush them first using your fingers or a mortar and pestle assembly to release trapped flavors. Add the herbs and spices during the last few minutes of simmering.

The pizza spices used varies. If you want tasty pizza sauce, use fennel seeds and laurel leaves. If you want an even stronger flavor, use lots of parsley or you can use the laurel bark; however, be sure to remove the laurel bark and the laurel leaves after cooking the pizza. If you want a spicy pizza sauce, however, add some cayenne pepper or some paprika to your pizza sauce mixture. 

Other pizza sauce ingredients are cheese, beef stock (or the instant variety if you have no time to make beef stock), and mushrooms. Basalmic vinegar and alcoholic beverages, moreover, are great for imparting a slightly piquant taste to your sauce. The same thing can be achieved with pure fruit juice such as lemon juice.

Do not forget that you have the option of adding as many ingredients and spices to your pizza sauce. It's all a matter of taste, anyway. And here's one final tip: if you like a dish so much - say creamy carbonara pasta - try recreating the sauce and using it on your pizza. If it doesn't work, then use it the way it has always been used (e.g. prepare some pasta to use with your carbonara sauce).

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About The Author, Sean Lannin
Sean Lannin