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Crushed Tomato Pizza Sauce

19 Aug

I’m all about garden sourced dinners right now. I shared my easy whole wheat pizza dough recipe with you and now it is time for pizza sauce. Making your own sauce is so simple, and tastes a trillion times better than any store bought sauce. It’s a great way to preserve the ripest, freshest, juiciest tomatoes all year long. It’s also a great way to use tomatoes from your garden! I have five tomato plants in my garden this year, so I have tomatoes coming out of my ears! If you want to learn how to quickly and easily remove skins from the tomatoes before you get started with this recipe, check out my article here!

This recipe uses canned tomatoes, so if you don’t have a garden and you don’t want to spend the money on fresh tomatoes at the store, go ahead and use canned. If you don’t have crushed tomatoes on hand you can use a can of whole tomatoes and crush them up yourself. Otherwise, use equal parts of fresh tomatoes like I did. If you are going to can the sauce, it’s important you remove the tomatoes skins before preparing, as the skins get tough in the canning process. This recipe is from the brilliant and ridiculously talented Peter Reinhart, originally published in his book American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza.

Crushed Tomato Pizza Sauce

Makes Enough for 4 to 6 Pizzas
1 can (28 ounces) crushed or ground tomatoes (see his comments about which tomatoes to use here)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste, start with ½ teaspoon and then adjust as needed)
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil (optional) (or 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional) (or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano)
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder (sandy, not the fine powder)
(or 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced or crushed)
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice, or a combination of both (optional–some brands are more acidic than others, but I find that most benefit from at least 1 tablespoon)
Stir all the ingredients together, adding the salt gradually, to taste. (The basil and oregano are optional. I use both because I find most of my friends associate the flavors with childhood memories, but in an authentic Napoletana marinara pizza, made with true San Marzano sauce, you would use only oregano, and not in the sauce but as a garnish after the bake. The flavors of the herbs and garlic will intensify when the pizza is baked, so resist the urge to increase the amount). Do not cook this sauce–the tomatoes are already cooked when they go in the can and they will cook again on the pizza (of course, if using this over spaghetti or other pasta, in other words, if it won’t be cooked again in the oven, then you can heat it up in a pan).

This sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Pizza Quest With Peter Reinhart

Originally published in American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza

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