PERFECT PIZZA SAUCE
As the title suggests, this is what I regard as the perfect pizza sauce. It’s bright and tangy with a good deal of zippiness from the garlic and crushed red pepper. But mostly what makes it perfect is that it’s not overdone, meaning it’s not really cooked or stewed ahead of time, which I find buries the tomato’s best flavors. I also don’t like herbs in a pizza sauce. I find that fresh herbs work best added afterwards. That way the flavors of the tomato, your toppings and the herbs remain distinct and really only start to come together in the oven.
I would suggest you give the fresh tomato version of this recipe a try but only if tomatoes are in season and you have access to fresh, very ripe tomatoes. It’s just one of those great pleasures of the summer months added to that other great pleasure: pizza.
PERFECT PIZZA SAUCE
Makes about 2 cups
-2 lbs ripe roma tomatoes or 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
-1 clove garlic, sliced thin
-1 tbsp olive oil
-crushed red pepper flakes
1. If using canned tomatoes, skip to step 2. If using fresh tomatoes, fill a pot that’s large enough to hold tomatoes in a single layer with about ¼ inch of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Cut a shallow “x” at the bottom of each tomato and throw them in the pot. Simmer/steam them with the lid partially covered for about 15 minutes. You’re looking for the skins to loosen and the flesh to soften a bit without really being cooked through. Set aside to cool before peeling.
2. Cut away the tough cores of the tomatoes and do your best to remove the seeds. Place seeded tomatoes in a food processor and give a few pulses. Alternatively, you can crush them by hand, whichever texture you prefer.
3. Combine processed or crushed tomatoes, with the garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes in a sealable container and add salt to taste. Allow the sauce to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before using. It will keep for several days.