Often overlooked and frequently underappreciated, the tomato is an integral part of a pizza. You can’t have pizza without sauce! Never fear! We are here this month to give the tomato some overdue recognition! Join us as we talk about tomatoes, the best tomatoes to make a sauce from, and we will even provide you with a make-at-home recipe to use with your family.
Consumed in many diverse ways, the tomato, biologically labeled as a fruit, originated in western South America and Central America. The Aztecs introduced Spanish Conquistadors to their word tomato, which eventually lead to the English word tomato. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Aztecs domesticated and cultivated tomatoes for use in their cooking. The tomato was brought back to Europe and then introduced all over the world as European countries worked to colonize the rest of the world during the 16th century. Thanks to the significant source of umami flavor, tomatoes are now grown in temperate climates around the world. There are as many variations of tomatoes as there are ways to eat them.
There is a fair bit of controversy when it comes to choosing the best tomato for a pizza sauce. Plum tomatoes and Roma tomatoes are both highly recommended. Both are bred for sauce and packing purposes, making them ideal for pizza sauce. There are a few reasons for this: tomatoes have few seeds compared to other tomato varieties, they are meaty, don’t taste acidic, and they cook down and make a rich, deep red sauce without the addition of tomato paste.
Tomato sauce purest will tell you that the San Marzano tomato is the best tomato to use for pizza sauce. A sub-cultivar of the plum tomato, the San Marzano tomato is a longer and thinner version of a plum tomato from the San Marzano region of Italy. You could say this tomato is the Ferrari of tomatoes. They are expensive, but loyalists say they are well worth the higher price tag.
When it comes to making your own sauce, there are several methods, but here is an easy one for you to try at home.
Step 1: Grab your favorite can of tomatoes from your local grocery store. I recommend peeled tomatoes because they will create a smoother sauce. Using canned tomatoes will save you hours monitoring a pot on the stove and still produce the same amazing flavors.
Step 2: Dump the canned tomatoes into a food processor. Add a pinch more than ½ tablespoon of salt. Pulse for about 90 seconds.
Optional Step 3: Mix in some shaved garlic, red pepper flakes, dried oregano basil, onion powder, thyme, etc. The spices you add are dependent on your taste buds and what you want your sauce to taste.
Step 4: Pour into a glass bowl and refrigerate for up to a week. Use glass, because the sauce will stain a plastic bowl. You should also date the sauce, just so you don’t forget.
Step 5: Use on any crust. Want to make your own crust? Check out our blog post on how to make your own crust here.
Want an easier time of it all? Stop by Ultimate California Pizza. We would be happy to build you your pizza your way! But if you are looking for a way to spend a fun afternoon with family, making your pizza sauce and pizza dough is a great way to go.
Want to read other cool things about pizza? Check out our blog posts here.
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