The best pizza dough does not necessarily lead to the best pizza. The quality and choice of pizza toppings and pizza naturally have something to do with the final taste of your pizza. Thus, if you want to get great pizza, then you should have the best pizza crust recipe, the best pizza toppings, the best pizza spices, the best ingredients, and the best pizza equipment. You must also have the best pizza sauce.
The Best Pizza Sauce
The pizza sauce is particularly important to pizza making. It is that which gives the whole dish its unifying flavor. It ties everything up, so to speak. Therefore, the best pizza sauce is relative to the type of pizza dough recipe you are following and the type of pizza toppings that you are using. The best pizza sauce is simply something that sets off your pizza toppings and your pizza crust so well that the untrained palate is only aware of great tasting pizza; the trained palate, on the contrary, will be able to distinguish each ingredient used but will still be impressed by how the specific combination of ingredients lends the pizza its unique taste.
Thus, a pizza loaded with all kinds of choice toppings, drizzled liberally with the best homemade pizza sauce that you can find, may give you nothing but a soggy and extremely messy pizza that pales in comparison with a simple cheese pizza or vegetarian pizza topped with sauce made so thoughtfully and carefully that the pizza crust, the toppings and the sauce all balance one another.
This talent for combining ingredients so that each one of your pizza spices, for instance, truly complements one another is something developed only through endless trials and experimentation. There’s also such a thing as good taste in food – something as innate as good taste in clothes (when you instinctively know which articles of clothing and accessories will result in a phenomenal outfit) or a good ear for music – which a truly great cook must have in order to come up with the best pizza sauce recipe. This skill, in turn, is developed or acquired through experience and training.
It is clear, therefore, that you need lots of practice if you want to be a pizza gourmet cook or master who has his own trademark pizza sauce recipe. For now, however, you may have to content yourself with the basic pizza sauce recipes that you will find online and in recipe books. In fact, starting with the basics is good preparation for developing your own homemade pizza sauce recipe. This will give you the experience to determine which ingredients you need to retain, which ones you need to change and which ones you need to add to achieve exactly the taste that you want.
The following are some of the pizza sauce secrets and information that you can use for making your own mind-blowing pizza sauce blend.
It All Begins with Tomatoes
This is not strictly true for there are pizza variants that do not use tomatoes in the pizza sauce. However, tomato-based sauces are the most common types.
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 saut?ing 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).
With more than 10 years experience both working and owning pizza restaurants. When he tried to find information about making pizza at home, he noticed that the information was either non-existent or lacked the information he felt was important. He now shares his passion for making pizza with readers of his website.