The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pizza sauce recipes

chetc's picture

pizza sauce recipes

I have been making pizza for a few years now, I have my dough recipes down pat, but I am still making different sauce recipes, still not thrilled with them, I tried cooked and non cooked, I tried a cooked recipe today, so far I am having better luck with uncooked sauces, but nothing exciting.



dlt123's picture

I have been having problems with both... I'll work on my dough, but would like better Sauce recipes.  I have a bumper crop of tomatoes in my freezer just waiting to be made into Pizza Sauce, which makes for an excellent Spagetti sauce as well.

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Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

I was never pleased with my pizza sauces until I started adding freshly ground fennel seed. Proportions are about 3:2:1 of whole fennel seed, dried oregano (not powder, not fresh), whole black peppercorns. Add after sauce has come to a boil and the sauce has been coarsely blenderized, or run through a sieve for a smoother sauce. I let the sauce bubble on low heat for about ten minutes to soften the dried herbs, stir in fresh basil or frozen basil pesto, turn off heat and let it cool. 

The only difference between pizza and spaghetti sauce for me is thickness. Sauce can be thickened by longer cooking or by adding more tomato paste. More coarse, wetter sauce is my preference for pasta, thicker and less coarse is what I like on pizza. Sprinkling the same spice blend (plus coarse salt) as goes in the sauce over the crust before sauce or topping makes for a really zesty pizza.

richkaimd's picture

I don't know what kind of sauce you are talking about.  Tomato?  Anyway try the recipes in Jim Fahey's recent bread cookbook.  Blew me away.  Simple and so good.  And opened my mind to much more creativity.  Meanwhile, have you tried a white pizza topping made of a thin layer, topped with gobs of fresh ricotta here and there, and then covered with broccoli rabe sauteed in garliced olive oil?

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Chetc,

An Italian friend of mine who made pizzas said always keep it simple stupid. or KISS.

Two very vine ripe roma italian tomatoes per pizza chopped skin still on. Or when out of season use a can of chopped diced tomatoes.

Fresh oragano leaves to taste. (chopping them is optional)

Crushed garlic to taste.

Salt and pepper to taste.

2 Table spoons Xtra virgin olive oil.

Unsalted tomato paste to taste. I use a about 50 to 70 grms.

Heat oil in saucepan and add tomato, garlic, oragano, tomato paste with salt and pepper. When cooked down place in a food processor and process to break the tomato skins down further for a smoother end look. Let cool in the fridge the night before the sauce is needed. This lets the flavours come together.

Bon appetite.................Pete

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I'm a recent convert to the boxed Pomi brand Marinara sauce.  This for me is the perfect taste and texture for pizza, and I can use it as is, unless I'm in the mood to embellish it a little with some extra virgin olive oil.  There is no metalic taste to the sauce and the price is pretty reasonable, especially when compared to a can of San Marzanos.  Be sure it says Marinara, though.  The strained tomatoes are nothing special, IMO.

CanuckJim's picture

Here's the sauce I've been using for years.  A six pound can of "Choice Grade," not DOP, San Marzanos can be bought at Costco for about $4.

 Smashed Tomato Sauce

 When using this basic sauce in a high-heat wood fired oven, it is best not to reduce it too much.  You want a fairly thick, non-watery concoction, chunky but not stiff.  The origin and quality of the canned tomatoes will dictate the amount of reduction. For home oven pizzas, even further reduction will be needed because the heat is not so intense. A half and half blend of Italian San Marzano and domestic whole, canned plum tomatoes is preferred.  The San Marzanos add flavor, while the plums add body.


One 28oz can of San Marzano, plus one 28 oz can of whole, domestic plum tomatoes (drain the water from the plums but not the puree from the Marzanos)

½ tsp fresh ground pepper, or to taste

½ tsp sea salt, or to taste

1 tsp dried Italian oregano fromCalabriaorSicily


An Italian tomato press (available here by mail order:,40733&ap=2 ) will yield the best results, because it will remove both the seeds and unwanted pulp, but you can also use a potato masher or food mill for a fairly similar consistency.  A hand mixer or food processor will break the seeds and impart a bitter flavour.

If using San Marzanos, cans with DOP on the label (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta) will be much more expensive than those without it.  Non-DOP canned tomatoes (Choice Grade) from the same region (San Marzano Pomodori) can be of good quality, but do not pay a premium price for them.  Find them at Costco.

Let the pressed tomatoes sit in a bowl for a few minutes, then drain off any clear water that settles out.  Pour the puree into a large pot (the sauce will splatter all over if the pot is too small), stir in the spices and reduce over medium low heat.  Be patient.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze in small batches.

 Optional additions:

 2 TBS fresh basil

1 TBS garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh, finely minced

2 TBS red wine vinegar or lemon juice or red wine

1 TBS high quality extra virgin olive oil


For authentic pizzas, you should be able to see the dough through the sauce.

BettyR's picture

tomato paste on the dough right out of the can then sprinkle the seasonings on, then top it and bake it on the oven rack on parchment paper. Comes out great every time.

richkaimd's picture

I didn't say a thin of what.  I should have said a thin layer of mozzarella.

wmtimm627's picture

I found a recipe in one of my cookbooks that called for canned San Marzano tomatoes just broken up and cooked with oil and basil. It kept well in the fridge for a week. About 3 tablespoons is enough for a 9 inch pie

I once tried running the tomatoes through a food mill, but I wasn't as happy with the results.

3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

 I use the Escalon 6 in 1 All Purpose Ground Tomatoes and am very pleased with the results. They are canned unpeeled ground tomatoes, extra heavy puree, and salt - no added citric acid. I can have them shipped to my home for less than buying them or a similar product at the store.