There are only two Italian expansions that can be said to have truly conquered the world. The first, of course, is the Roman Empire, which at its peak stretched from the north of England all the way into Africa and Asia. The second, with a considerably larger reach, is the pizza, which is eaten and adored worldwide. The origins of pizza are disputed, as variations of flat bread, olive oil, cheese and tomato sauce are consumed throughout the world, but credit for the invention of modern pizza is awarded to the city of Naples in, of course, Italy.The ancestor to modern tomato-based pizza is actually marinara sauce, although the marinara served in Naples in centuries past is very different from the seafood-heavy sauce popular in restaurants around the world. Originally, a simple pizza of bread topped with a tomato sauce – probably one extremely similar to this homemade pizza sauce – was given to Neapolitan seamen, the marinara, hence the name of the sauce. This dish was extremely resistant to spoilage, a definite asset in the time before modern refrigeration technology. Whether this sauce was invented by ships’ cooks or the sailors’ wives is unknown, but pizzerias in Naples serve the simple, tasty sauce on their pizzas all the same.
Pizza sauce recipe
The classic pizza sauce, like much Italian cuisine, uses tomato quite heavily, and should be a deep, rich red color like the one on the Italian flag. Italians, particularly Neapolitans, take their pizza very seriously, and Neapolitan pizza is even safeguarded by the European Union as a Traditional Specialty Guaranteed dish. The archetypal “true Neapolitan pizza” is the Margherita, which uses basil, cheese and homemade pizza sauce to represent the three colors of the Italian flag: green, white and red. Pizza should be baked in a brick or stone oven, although in some countries wood fired ovens are a popular alternative.
Making homemade pizza sauce is a delicate science that has been perfected over centuries and countless generations of Italian cooks and chefs. It should retain some of the tartness of the tomatoes, but be slightly sweet and stick to the pizza like glue. Very few things disappoint heaving, hungry tables like thin pizza sauce, so be generous with your tomatoes. You can puree them in a food processor if you so desire, but for truly authentic pizza sauce, you should use a mortar and pestle. Fresh garlic is by far the best to use for this homemade pizza sauce recipe, as it’s slightly sweeter than garlic that’s been left for a while, and this rule applies to your tomatoes, too. If you grow your own tomatoes, now is the time to use them as they’ll never be better applied than in a thick, delicious homemade pizza sauce.
Some cooks like to add a dash of red wine to their homemade pizza sauce for flavor, although this is definitely optional, as your sauce will have plenty of bite and character to it without the addition of wine. If you do add a red wine, make sure it’s not too tart, or it’ll thin out your sauce.Print