Monday, May 9, 2016

Joey's Go-To Homemade Pizza Sauce

 I was recently making a Pizza Lasagna, and I realized that I didn't have a go-to pizza sauce recipe. So I figured I'd come up with one! Just as I usually do, I looked up a few different recipes and took what I liked from each one. And here it is! Now I have my go-to recipe and I hope you'll give it a try. Of course you can use it for homemade pizza or Crock Pot Pizza Pasta, but try it as a dipping sauce for Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza Puffs, or your favorite mozzarella sticks. You could also do mini pizzas in the toaster oven on English muffins with a little shredded mozzarella cheese on top. It's also fabulous just as a spicy sauce poured over your favorite pasta. Hopefully this will now be YOUR go-to pizza sauce recipe too! Enjoy!

3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs butter
1 small onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cracked fennel seeds
2 (28oz) cans Tuttoroso crushed tomatoes
2 large whole sprigs fresh basil
1 tbs sugar
S&P to taste

Add the first 7 ingredients to a heavy saucepot over medium heat. Stir and saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Increase the heat to bring it up to a boil, then reduce it to a low simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. That's all there is to it! Can be made in large batches and frozen, if desired.

 For the fennel seeds, I used a mortar and pestle to crack them and crush them a bit. You can also place them in a ziploc bag and use something heavy the bash them up so you won't have big seeds floating around in your sauce.
I leave the sprigs of basil whole so you can easily fish them out after the sauce is finished cooking. If you want, you can chop them up and just leave 'em in the sauce.
 I usually don't mention specific brands, but in this case, I only use Tuttoroso. For one thing, all crushed tomatoes aren't created equally. Sometimes they're very chunky, more like stewed tomatoes, other times they're almost like puree. Tuttoroso crushed tomatoes are the exact texture I like for pizza sauce. And I seem to remember seeing on America's Test Kitchen that they were the best tasting ones too. I could be completely wrong on that, but I'm going with it. If you don't have Tuttoroso crushed tomatoes, then I recommend using any favorite canned whole tomatoes and crushing them to your desired texture.

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