Pizza Friday

Friday is pizza day in my world. Unless it’s Lent, then I like to carry on the tradition of pancake dinners on Friday just like my father made for us when I was a kid.

My pizza sauce is based solely on my own personal preference for a very tomato-y sauce. It has endless possibilities, not just for pizza.

Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
(enough sauce for about 4–5 pizzas)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
    (I actually used 1 & 1/2 since I had a lonely 1/2 onion left over)
  • 3–5 cloves garlic (depending on your taste), minced
  • 4–5 fresh plum tomatoes, rough chop (if they are very ripe, all the better
    (This time, I used 2 plum tomatoes and 3 salad tomatoes that were overripe)
  • 1 can (400g) Mutti Cherry Tomatoes (or your favorite whole tomato canned)
  • 2 + Tbsp tomato paste (I use Mutti triple concentrated)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp sugar or sweetener (depending on your tastes and the acidity levels)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian spice blend (my favorite is from Penzey’s)
  • 3–4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Smidgen of black pepper
  • Small pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

I am so proud of my prep!
ingredients

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil gently in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add the diced onion and cook until transparent.
  3. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant (approximately 30 seconds. I usually slide the pan off the heat slightly to avoid burning it). garlic
  4. Add the fresh diced tomato and cook a few minutes until it starts to release juice. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine — don’t cook it too long (I do that for meat sauce, but not pizza sauce). Add the rest of the ingredients  and stir together. I used about 1/2 a can of water swished around the tomato can to get all that amazing deliciousness from those cherry tomatoes!
  5. Cook covered on low to medium-low heat until the tomatoes are soft (about half an hour), stirring occasionally. I use an immersion blender when done to make it smooth.

If you feel it needs to be a bit thicker or more red, add some more tomato paste. My plum tomatoes were not very ripe, so I needed more tomato paste. You may also need to adjust your seasonings. Tomatoes and salt are BFF’s, so you may like more.

This is a great basic pizza sauce and is SO SIMPLE!  You may want to check out “Cauliflower Pizza” if you are going low-carb, and I’ve seen gluten-free almond pizza crusts too. I have some meal ideas I may play around with soon using this sauce as well. From my calculations, a serving of this sauce is maybe 20 calories at most? If you substitute the sugar for say monk fruit sweetener and use less olive oil, could be even less.

I am in a weight-loss program at the moment for perhaps a gastric bypass, given my age and health, so pizza crust may be out of the question soon (depending on insurance, etc). However, I am the kind of person that believes in most (not all) things in moderation. A slice of home-made pizza and a side salad is a pretty good dinner. But, I definitely, firmly and whole-heatedly believe in scratch-made and real ingredients as much as possible. Therefore, I make my own pizza crust using my sourdough starter when I need to feed it.

King Arthur Flour Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe.

Yes, Sourdough Pizza Crust… sounds odd, but it’s awesome and it is my go-to recipe. It uses the discard from my starter, and it’s great because I hate throwing anything away. The only tweak I make to it is that I add 25 grams of olive oil, and I replace the all purpose flour with KAF’s Pizza Flour Blend. I tried using other flours and it really makes a huge difference staying with that blend of flour. I am a big fan of King Arthur Flour if you haven’t gathered already.

Here are my two pizza dough balls resting for 20 minutes on my shaping mat before my lay-person attempt at shaping: pizzacrustsOh there is definitely a dirty joke here somewhere about this picture! hahaha

I have been making pizza every weekend for probably 3 months now. I’ve been working on learning how to shape the dough as well as perfecting my favorite pizza sauce. I mention the canned tomato by brand name (Mutti) because once I switched to using that, my sauce became perfect. It’s my secret weapon to a perfect tomato pizza sauce. However, you may prefer your pizza sauce more spicy or herb-y… and you can do that with this base. I’ve also played around with the idea of putting an anchovy in the beginning instead of the olive oil, I just haven’t dared.

One trick I find for making great home-made pizza is a pizza stone. I have one from Emile Henry that I love… I even broke it (by my own laziness) and replaced it because I couldn’t live without it! Of course, if you have a yard, a pizza oven would be the ultimate dream, but I live in an apartment in downtown Boston.

Another tip I found for making your life simpler is using parchment paper to transfer the pizza crust when it’s raw to said pizza stone. I pre-bake it for 5 minutes and then take it out and let it cool a bit before topping it. Then I can easily move the pizza directly onto the stone again to cook through. My baking sheets are also pretty helpful as one side has a lip that it can slide right off:finishedpizzabit lopsided pizza crust, but a vast improvement over how they looked 3 months ago!

The sauce will last refrigerated at least a week, so you won’t have to make it again next Pizza Night.

Once again, thank you for reading this far!

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