Homemade, scratch pizza sauce is on our pizza, every Saturday night! It’s our favorite cheat meal, and even though the carb count is higher than our other meals, those two slices, above, are on a luncheon plate. So it’s about deliciousness and portion control. Make a hefty arugula salad to accompany the pizza, and you’re in business.
Last night’s pizza was a combination of small pieces of mozzarella and blue cheese, with red onion and homemade sauce. Simple and easy.
The key to great pizza is a great sauce.
Pizza needs a sauce that’s present, but not overpowering. It needs to say “Hey!” with every bite, but it also needs let the toppings shine. While a good dough is base of a great pizza, the sauce is the compliment to the toppings.
We use fresh tomatoes for this recipe when they’re in season, but that won’t be for months, so canned has to suffice. Whatever you choose, use no-salt added tomatoes and add your own salt during cooking, so you can control the sodium. Our favorite tomatoes are Pomi. We prefer a chunky sauce for pastas, but a smoother sauce for pizza, so we puree half the batch before it hits the freezer. An abundance of onions and garlic, oregano, sugar, fresh ground pepper, and salt is all it takes. (The red pepper flakes and fresh basil are optional.)
Sweat the onions first, in a screaming hot dutch oven where a Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil is just below the smoke point. (Watch for the oil to get a good sheen on it. That’s the clue. Add the onions, and turn the heat down to medium.) The onions need to sizzle for 2-3 minutes, moving them continuously around the pan, so they don’t brown. I add my salt and pepper at this point, to help the onions sweat. Then add the minced garlic. Keep stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. (If it does, toss the mixture and start over. Burned garlic will ruin the taste of any dish.)
After about a minute, add the tomatoes, and give it a good stir. Then comes the oregano, more pepper, a little sugar. Give it a good stir, leave the heat on medium low, and place the lid on the pot, slightly askew. Set the timer for 30 minutes, and give it another stir.
Then, let it go for another 30 minutes, and done!! Our Homemade, Scratch Pizza Sauce is one of our favorite parts of each pizza we make.
At this point, we puree half the sauce for pizzas and pour it into 1-Cup freezer molds, where it will be ready for Saturday night pizzas, and other things, like K2.0 stuffed peppers, or K2.0 stuffed shells.
Fresh basil was on hand, so that went into the puréed sauce.
The chunky, rustic sauce goes into 1-cup molds. Later on, we’ll place each of the frozen bricks into freezer bags, and place them back in the freezer for easy meals whenever we need a cup of sauce! This Sunday ritual takes only 10-15 minutes of hands-on attention, and it elevates all our saucy meals! One of our favorite meals involves two cups of homemade, scratch sauce, one cup of pre-cooked lean ground turkey, and whatever’s in the fridge to toss in with it. Maybe some shaved parm, some sautéed zucchini, some leftover brown rice… and it’s a classic comfort food dinner that fits the K2.0 plan.
And here’s your recipe!
Homemade, Scratch Pizza Sauce
- 48 oz chopped tomatoes
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 2 C diced yellow onions
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ C fresh basil leaves
- fresh basil, if desired
- red pepper flakes, if desired
- Chop the onions and mince the garlic.
- Place 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven. Turn the burner to high, and bring the oil to a high temp without smoking it.Add the onion, turn the heat to medium, and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue to stir for 1 minute.
- Now Add the tomatoes, the spices, and give it a good stir. Set the lid on the pot, slightly ajar, to let some of the steam escape. Turn heat to simmer.
- Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes. Stir, and let it simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Place into 1-Cup containers, and freeze. Makes 9 cups total.