Easy Pizza Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can (28 ounces or 800g) Crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) Dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Sauté Garlic: In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
    • Sautéing Garlic: Releases its flavor compounds into the oil, enhancing the overall flavor of the sauce.
  2. Add Tomatoes and Spices: Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
    • Crushed Tomatoes: Provide the base for the sauce. The natural sweetness and acidity of tomatoes create a balanced flavor.
    • Sugar: Balances the acidity of the tomatoes.
    • Herbs and Spices: Oregano and basil add classic Italian flavors, while red pepper flakes introduce a hint of heat.
  3. Simmer Sauce: Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Simmering: Allows the flavors to meld together and intensifies the overall taste. It also reduces the sauce, thickening it to the right consistency for spreading on pizza dough.
  4. Cool and Use: Let the sauce cool to room temperature before using it on pizza dough.
    • Cooling: A slightly cooler sauce is easier to spread evenly and won’t prematurely heat the raw pizza dough.

Scientific Explanations

  • Maillard Reaction in Sautéing: Sautéing garlic in olive oil initiates the Maillard reaction, where amino acids and reducing sugars react to create complex flavor compounds, enriching the sauce’s aroma and taste.
  • Acidity and Sugar Balance: Tomatoes are naturally acidic, which can overpower the sauce. Adding a small amount of sugar helps balance this acidity, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the sauce.
  • Herb and Spice Infusion: Simmering the sauce with herbs and spices allows their flavors to infuse into the sauce. The heat gently extracts their essential oils, distributing the flavors throughout the sauce.
  • Reduction and Concentration: Simmering the sauce evaporates some of the water content, concentrating the flavors and thickening the sauce, making it ideal for spreading on pizza dough without making it soggy.

This pizza sauce recipe combines the rich flavors of tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, with the science of cooking techniques like sautéing and simmering, resulting in a sauce perfect for complementing any pizza. The balance of acidity and sweetness, along with the concentration of flavors through simmering, creates a delicious sauce that enhances the overall pizza experience.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen
Articles: 103

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