Thursday, May 27, 2010

pizza sauce

OK, this is it...I promised pizza sauce that would change your life and here it is. Now, just don't look at the picture.

Ack! I said don't look! What are you doing? Ick! Ick ick!

Ok, ok, let's ignore the fact that I have NO idea how to take pictures, and also ignore the fact that I couldn't even be bothered to at least wipe down the sides of my tupperware so it looked presentable, and ALSO ignore the fact that when I realized that last fact I was also too lazy to go re-do it and I uploaded it anyway...and let's just focus on the consistency of that sauce. It. Is. Chunky. Period. So if that's not your style, then maybe this isn't the pizza sauce for you. Actually, I take that back. You'd just have to add another step at the end and stick it in a food processor to blend up all the chunks. But I, for one, LOVE the chunks so I'm leaving them in. I figure as long as I have teeth I may as well enjoy chunks in my food. My teeth are so bad I probably won't have them for long. Sigh...
But that's another post for another day. Today, there is pizza sauce to make. And here are the ingredients:

  • onion
  • fresh garlic
  • vegetable broth
  • tomato paste
  • Italian seasoning (you can also use basil, rosemary, oregano, etc. I used a mix)
  • black pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • crushed tomatoes
  • sugar (opt)
  • balsamic vinegar
Now, I need to be honest, I mostly followed a recipe from an old copy of Cooking Light that was a special pizza issue. But I'll also be version is way better! Take that, Cooking Light. So here's what you do.
Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan at medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup finely chopped onion and saute for a few minutes. Add garlic (I'm usually pretty liberal--you can never have too much garlic--so I added a couple cloves, minced) and saute 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup vegetable broth, cook another minute. Add 2 Tbsp. tomato paste, 1-2 tsp. dried seasoning (pick your favorite!), black pepper & crushed red pepper (again, to taste...I'm a wimp so I used more black pepper and only a few violent shakes of the my kids had to eat this), and one 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, undrained. Make sure they're crushed! Don't try to use diced and squish them up yourselves (ok, that's something I would totally do) but it will ruin the consistency of this glorious stuff. Then you'll reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Then, I'd suggest tasting it. If it seems too acidic, add 1-2 tsp. of sugar. This usually depends on the type of tomatoes you use. I think mine needed it. Keep simmering for another 15 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp. balsamic.

Be still my beating heart. I dipped my finger in this bad boy and almost fell down in the kitchen. The best part was that, unbelievably, it was BETTER the next day. So if you made this the day before and put it on a pizza the following day, or, dare I say, after TWO days!!! Whoa, I'm having a hard time keeping my heart rate down just thinking about it.

I have a standard pizza dough recipe that I generally use, but just to mix it up I made Pioneer Woman's basic pizza dough from her cookbook and then made half the pizza with the drool-worthy red sauce and pepperoni, and half with pesto and Roma tomatoes. It looked like this:

Ack! Wait, didn't I say no looking at the pictures?!! Ew, now you'll never want to make this pizza. Honestly, what was I thinking? (After looking at the picture again I also remembered that I put some leftover jicama/black bean/avocado chunky salsa up in the top right corner, cause I figured anything would be good with this sauce...aaaand I was right.) But trust me. It was so good, I made the exact pizza 2 days later (minus the weird leftovers). And I had no complaints.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go drizzle the rest of that pizza sauce over some ice cream. Oh, did I just say that out loud?

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