February 26, 2009

Zesty Pizza Sauce

1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, saute the onions, red pepper flakes and garlic, in olive oil, 3-5 minutes or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining spices and stir. Cook 30-40 minutes on low or until thickened to the point when you run a spoon across the bottom of the pan "parting" the sauce and virtually no liquid trickles into the middle. The thicker the sauce, the less likely your pizza will be soggy, even if your crust is very thin.

My thoughts:
I know that some people are tempted to use bottled pizza sauce but homemade is so easy (and cheap!) to make, there is really no reason not to. It does take a bit of time but it is mainly hands off and really not much more time than it takes to preheat the oven and assemble your toppings. If you are making homemade crust, make this while the dough is going through the second rise. It is fine if it is closer to room temperature than hot when you ladle it on the pizza.

Refrigerate any leftovers for a future pizza or calzone or toss with some hot pasta for a quick meal or snack.