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Before I post my brand new pizza idea, (which is actually only new to me) I thought it would be a good idea to share a quick and easy recipe for some absolutely delicious pizza sauce. What’s that you’re saying? It seems like an extra hassle to make your own pizza sauce? Well fine then, I guess you should just go down to the store and grab a can of spaghetti sauce and call it good. But come on, if you’re gonna do that, you might as well microwave your pizza.
Anyway, I had been making my own pizza sauce for years, but it always seemed to be… just okay. It was lackluster if anything. Something was missing I guess you could say, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Here’s the cool part though. I recently figured it out, (I’m sure nobody really cares) and I’m going to tell you what in my opinion that ‘it’ is. You ready? Everyone excited? Okay, here goes…
Oh that reminds me, I dug around the internet doing some research (45 seconds tops) on the proper name of ‘it’ and I came to a very solid conclusion. Its scientific name sounds really funny to me: Ocimum basilicum
It’s funny because it…oh nevermind. Let’s just move on and try to forget the amazingly low levels of maturity I seem to consistently achieve. And I can’t think of a better way to move on than getting off track again. All joking aside though, getting off track is one of my primary skills (usually only when writing a blog post or recipe) and one that I am quite proud of. Although, I can’t help but think there was something I was supposed to be sharing.
Hmm, oh well. In any case, what really makes this sauce so good, in my opinion is the, get ready for it… sweet basil. Sweet basil (or just basil if you like) is the variety used in Italian cooking. Other types of basil such as lemon basil and Thai basil are used in Asia. It’s true and I know this because the internet said so.
Don’t use fresh basil though! Fresh basil will wilt as it cooks and the flavors will quickly deteriorate. The only time I could see using fresh basil in this recipe is if you top your pizza with the sauce (leaving out any basil), cook the pizza and then add fresh basil on top when the pizza is almost done.
That brings up a good point about whether or not to cook the sauce prior to putting it on the pizza. My opinion is that it is better to cook it, since that will give the dried oregano and basil time to “develop” and fully release all their flavors. With that being said however, the dried oregano and basil will have time to “develop” as they cook in the oven, but to what degree, I don’t know. It’s really up to you and what you think tastes best.
Here’s my thought on the matter. If you plan on making more of a Chicago style deep dish pizza, it’s obviously going to take longer to cook in the oven, and that would be good for the herbs in the pizza sauce. So I would be inclined to say, it’s not vital that it be heated prior to adding it to a deep dish type of pizza. On the other hand, if you are planning on making a thinner New York style pizza, it might be best to let the pizza sauce simmer for a bit before using it on the pizza. But these are nothing more than opinions from yours truly.
In reality, do what you want. I’m no expert when it comes to pizza sauce. I’m simply posting the recipe that I’ve settled on. It tastes great and is quite simple. This will be the go to pizza sauce I’ll link to whenever I come out with a new pizza that requires red sauce. And you can take that to the bank. Don’t ask my why I said that. It makes no sense.
Now go forth and make pizza. And after you have devoured that pizza, leave us a reply in the comment section below. You know you want to.
Sweet Basil Pizza Sauce
By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: About 2 large pizzas, but varies depending on how much sauce is used.
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes – about 3 cups (peeled)
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sweet basil (dried)
- 1 tablespoon oregano (dried)
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- Simply combine all ingredients together in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If you feel the sauce is too thick, add a little water until desired thinness is reached.