The 3-part pizza mini series continues today with Part 3: The Sauce. Catch up on Part 1: The Gear and Part 2: The Dough. During one of our earlier dough-offs to find the best dough recipe, we unintentionally had a pizza sauce throw down. I made my old trusty tomato paste sauce while Kev made a more traditional Neapolitan sauce using crushed tomatoes. I didn’t lose this throw down, but I didn’t win either. At the end of the dinner, the dough critique turned into a conversation about the sauce. It was unanimous—we all liked aspects from each of the recipes.
So I combined the two, using the ease of the tomato paste from my old recipe with the spices, garlic, and vinegar from his recipe. And that was one big variable we solved early on in our wood-fired pizza experimenting. This pantry pizza sauce has a rich, warm, garlicky flavor and comes together as fast as you can open a can of tomato paste. Speaking of, source a paste with good flavor. In this case, all pastes are not created equal. We’ve been buying the organic option from Costco for years, which has a nice even, almost sweet flavor. Don’t be scared of the vinegar either. It’s an unsung hero in home cooking. And I’m singing it. Note: a little goes a long way in cooking.
A quick, well rounded pantry pizza sauce that comes together in a couple stirs. For minimal clean-up, use a tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon for measuring, doubling and halving when needed.
4 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
4+ tbsp. water
Stir together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl or mason jar until smooth. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin to desired consistency. I prefer my sauce on the thinner side. Taste and add additional salt if needed. This sauce is strong in flavor. A little goes a long way, so spread a very thin layer on your pie.
This can be made up to a week in advance. Store leftovers in an airtight jar.