Here, the pizzas are all lacking somehow. And, it's not for a lack of trying. One place has really great toppings, good sauce, but a crust that belongs in cardboard packaging. Another place has a good crust and adequate toppings, but just can't seem to put on enough sauce. One name-brand place (I'm leaving off the brand intentionally) puts ranch dressing on their all-meat pizzas (YUCK!). I've often wished they'd get together and make a good overall pizza.
Last night I just couldn't take it anymore. I wanted a decent pizza and I knew I wasn't going to be able to call up someone and just buy it. So, I hit the kitchen.
First up, the sauce. This is the most important part of a pizza for me. Without a good sauce, a pizza falls flat.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 kilogram tomato sauce
- 750 grams tomato paste
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 teaspoons dried basil
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 bay leaves
Over low heat, sweat the onions and celery in the olive oil and butter. Cook until the vegetables are soft and translucent. I took the photograph above at this state. The smell, so good!
Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Notice that I've listed the amount by weight. That's how they are sold here. For those buying in cans, I believe that would be about 32 oz. tomato sauce and 24 oz. tomato paste. Stir until smooth.
Lastly, add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer slowly for as long as you have the patience. 30 minutes is good. 60 is better. As with any red sauce, the longer you simmer (within reason) the better it'll be.
When using on your pizzas, be sure to remove the bay leaves. Wouldn't want some poor unsuspecting soul to bite into one. Not yummy!
This makes enough for 16 twelve-inch pizzas. Since my dough recipe makes a pair of twelve-inch pizzas at a time, I split the final sauce up into eight parts. Seven of the parts I put until sandwich-sized zip-top bags and put into the freezer for another day.
The eighth part went onto my pizzas. But, that's another post ...