A brilliant pizza is attained by using a solid pizza dough recipe (your own or fresh pizza dough from an Italian grocers), a great homemade pizza sauce, and complimentary toppings such as perfectly crisp bacon and fresh summer tomatoes. Some of my favorite toppings include: goat cheese, sheep's feta cheese, olives, basil pesto (which also makes a great "pizza sauce", toasted pine nuts, very thin slices of summer tomato, baby spinach, sun dried tomato, crisp bacon or pancetta, red onions, sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, and bocconcini. Once the pizza is out of the oven I love to add basil or arugula lettuce. However I do not enjoy a topping overloaded pizza that results in a soggy crust, and I like my tomato pizza sauce scant for the same reason.
I think I mentioned before in an earlier post that I have, on occasion, grabbed canned tomato pizza sauce due to a lack of time. The resulting pizzas were always acceptable. I have even used tomato paste in an emergency. If however you have the time and energy take the opportunity to make your own sauce. It does make a difference.
Homemade Pizza Sauce
(Enough sauce for about 2 medium pizzas)
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 500 ml (2 cups) chopped tomatoes
- Pinch your favorite dried herb or a blend of several: thyme, oregano, savory, sage, basil
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) brown sugar or maple syrup or honey
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) tomato paste
- Pinch sea salt
- Pinch dried espelette pepper or chili flakes
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so until garlic turns golden. Immediately pour in the tomatoes to stop the garlic from burning. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the remaining ingredients and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes thick and deeply red (about 45 minutes). Let sauce cool before spreading over pizza dough.