Sunday, September 19, 2010

farmgirl susan's pizza sauce

Since someone whose name rhymes with Shnulissa got us a pizza stone and a pizza peel as wedding presents, I have been obsessed with making pizza. We've done it three times in a week and a half, and note that there are no leftovers.

(Also, I finally discovered the secret of it not sticking to the peel before the transfer: so much cornmeal. Like, half an inch of cornmeal under the entire thing. It's a little wasteful and uses more cornmeal than I knew existed in this world, but it totally works and now I can gently slide the perfectly arranged pizza from the peel to the stone like I'm in a pizza movie.)

Anyway, here is a delicious recipe for tomato sauce, from Farmgirl Fare. She also has recipes for dough and a bunch of delicious-sounding topping combinations here.

But now, sauce:

Some good olive oil

- Fresh garlic, coarsely chopped with some nice salt and allowed to sit 10 minutes if possible (so the beneficial compounds have time to mix with the air and become more "available") [we somehow didn't have any and I used from the jar]

- Plenty of vine-ripened, garden fresh tomatoes (preferably heirloom & organically grown), cut into chunks (I use a serrated knife) ["plenty" to me became 6, of varying sad oldness]

- Fresh basil (at least twice as much as you think seems like the right amount--I measure fresh basil by the handful)

- Fresh oregano (more than you're about to put in) [I used the delicious new dried stuff from Kelly and it was great]

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan, then add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid cooks out. Cooking time will depend on the juiciness of the tomatoes. [this was less time than I thought]

When there is still some liquid left in the pan, carefully puree the sauce using a blender or immersion hand blender. Bring it back to a boil, and continue simmering until desired consistency. Let cool, then spread on pizza dough. (If you are like me and never remember to make the sauce ahead of time, you can transfer it into a heat proof bowl and stick it in the freezer for a while. Just don't spill it because it will immediate freeze to whatever it falls on and is practically impossible to clean up.)


Farmgirl Susan said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of homemade pizza! So glad you crossed over and joined us - and that you liked my sauce recipe.

I used to do the cornmeal under the pizza thing, too, and sometimes it worked, and sometimes during the summer - ack. But then my baking pal Beth (aka kitchenMage) shared a brilliant tip - make your pizza on a piece of unbleached parchment paper. Then you simply slide the paper and pizza onto the baking stone. No sticking to anything ever again! :)

Alissa said...

Hm, that does sound like a good idea! Thanks, Farmgirl Susan. :) Even using cornmeal I always find it impossible to transfer it to the pizza stone. I bet the parchment paper strategy would work wonders.

gwen said...

Wow, I'm not sure why I didn't think of that -- great idea! It also won't waste so much cornmeal, either, or get it all over the floor. Thank you!