You can’t have pizza night without a good pizza sauce to kick things off in proper fashion. The aroma of this sauce as it is simmering on the stove is enough to start the pizza jonesing in earnest! The girl likes to use the sauce for bread sticks, made of leftover pizza dough (but what kid doesn’t like dipping food?!).
I always simmer the sauce in my deep sided cast-iron skillet because the acidic tomatoes causes the iron in the skillet to leach out a bit into the pizza sauce. So it not only tastes fantastic, it’s also a healthier sauce, too – bonus!
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Favorite Pizza Sauce
Makes about 3 ½ cups
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 26-ounce carton strained tomatoes or 2 14-ounce cans tomato purée
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon organic sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt, optional
2 fresh bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried Mediterranean oregano leaves
1 teaspoon marjoram leaves
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
Heat the olive oil in a deep cast-iron skillet over medium heat and sauté garlic just until fragrant.
Add the anchovy substitute and sauté for just a minute. Then add the strained tomatoes (or tomato purée) and the tomato paste. Whisk to combine; cook about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, sea salt (if using), bay leaves, crushed red chili peppers, basil, thyme, oregano and marjoram; whisk together and then stir in the water. Whisk again. Cover and simmer the sauce over medium low heat until thickened to your liking: about 45 minutes.
Cut the heat and allow the sauce to cool before removing the bay leaves. Use to sauce the pizza immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week for later use.