I've been on a "from scratch" expedition lately. Everything from chocolate syrup, doughs, salad dressings, extracts, and sauces. (Plus so many more on my list!) With Jordan and I trying to save and live on a tighter budget it makes zero sense to buy things like this when I already have the ingredients in my pantry. Plus, now that I'm tasting the amazing difference, I'm not sure I can ever go back.
I found this recipe over on Food Wishes. (It's actually a whole series on homemade pizza!) What I love about it is the way you start out browning your spices, which I hadn't thought to do before. The possible flavor combinations seem endless here, but I haven't strayed too much yet, just adding some basil, extra garlic, and pepper. (Jordan's favorite) The consistency of this sauce is solid and I think it could handle any number of substitutions, so I see it as the perfect place to start. Plus the fun addition of baking soda takes me right back to those early elementary school volcano experiments...
Yield: enough for 4 medium pizzas, depending
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz)
4 cloves garlic
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
A few fresh basil leaves
small pinch of baking soda
1/2 cup water
Empty the can of tomatoes into a bowl. Cut each tomato in half, squeezing as many seeds out as possible into a separate bowl. Discard seeds. Run the tomato liquid through a strainer to catch the leftover seeds. (Note: if a few seeds make it in, it’s fine. Just aim to get the majority.) Crush tomato halves with a masher or clean hands.
Set a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add olive oil and garlic and cook just until it starts to sizzle. Add all the dry herbs and pepper. Stir into garlic and oil for about a minute, keeping low heat. Take care not to let the garlic or herbs burn.
Add tomatoes to the pan. Give it a good stir. Add in salt, pinch of sugar, and the half cup of water. Stir well. Let sauce come to a light simmer. Add a very small pinch of baking soda. A foam will begin to rise out of the sauce. Using a spoon, skim the foam off the top and discard.
Let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes. Toss in some basil. If you prefer a thinner sauce, run it through a blender until it reaches desired consistency.
Slightly adapted from Food Wishes