This is Deb’s Easy Fresh Tomato Basil Pizza Sauce Recipe With Super Fresh Flavor!
The first time I grew Roma tomatoes in my garden I thought I was a genius. I had no clue growing them would be so easy, number one, and number two, the taste was out of this world spectacular. Since I had such an abundance, I set to work making everything I could think of…salsa, tomato sauce, tomato juice, tomato jam. It was tomato heaven. I also made sure to freeze up some plain tomatoes to use in other recipes…like this pizza sauce (recipe below). This recipe for pizza sauce is one of our favourites and whether it’s canned or fresh tomatoes that you use, the flavour is impressive. It is super simple to make and requires no cooking which helps keep its fresh tomato flavour.
If you’re using fresh tomatoes gather up about 10-12 and give them a wash if their dirty. Next, cut out the core and, on the opposite end, make an “X” with a paring knife. Fill a Dutch oven pot about half way with water and set it to boil. Once the water is boiling, drop the tomatoes in and blanch them for about two minutes or until the skin starts to peel away. Plunge the tomatoes into a bath of ice cold water. Once cool enough to handle, take the skins off. Roughly chop them up and set them in a colander to drain a bit. Now, you’re all set to make fresh pizza sauce!
By the way, if you’re heading to the market to buy fresh Roma tomatoes, be warned. Unless they are in season, it is likely you’ll end up with Roma’s that are thick skinned and flavourless. Most areas in the US and Canada will have fresh Roma tomatoes in season sometime in July, August or September. Ask at your local farmer’s market. Most of them will sell tomatoes by the bushel during this time of year which will allow you to experience tomato heaven too!
If you will be using canned tomatoes for your pizza sauce, choose whole peeled tomatoes rather than diced or crushed as these are usually made from poorer quality tomatoes and have much less flavour. Tomatoes grown for canning plants are picked fresh and ripe, and are peeled and canned quickly once picked. This ensures the freshest taste once you’re ready to cook.
Some folks have inquired as to why we don’t cook this pizza sauce. The answer is because we love the fresh taste of this recipe and, frankly, cooking it twice can take away from this. “Twice” you say? Yes…if you cook the pizza sauce first and then top a pizza with it and bake it in the oven, you have essentially cooked it twice. Instead, we have opted to keep it fresh and have the pizza oven do the cooking…just one time.
This recipe also calls for garlic. We love garlic…the more the better! But we understand that some folks don’t. If you’re unsure how this recipe will taste with six cloves, try two or three to start and give it a taste. We grow our own garlic and if you love garlic but have never tasted it right out of the garden, you’ll need to experience it just once to know how amazing it can be. By the time garlic gets to a grocery store, it has lost some of its moisture content and some of its kick, but right out of the garden, garlic is juicy, fresh and spicy and just plain awesome! If you have a little corner to put in a garden on your property or even a pot, try planting some cloves late this fall and in July of next year you will be rewarded with the most amazing tasting garlic. In the US and Canada, most garlic varieties do best when planted in the late fall. Ideally you will want to plant them about three weeks before the ground freezes which will give them time to put down some roots and slowly start to grow.
Balsamic vinegar and basil are the other stars in this recipe.
We usually opt for organic balsamic vinegar which has no added sulphites…they give me a headache! It goes without saying that the better quality vinegar you use, the better the flavour will be in your pizza sauce. Made in the city of Modena (in Italy), a small region in the north, makers of balsamic vinegar simmer grape must to make a concentrated juice which is then fermented for years. The result is dark, syrupy and expensive (like $200 an ounce expensive!). Most grocery stores carry the affordable version which is not aged as long as the real deal but tastes pretty great!
Basil is another great and easy plant to grow in any size of garden. We’ve made lots of pesto and of course use it in pizza sauce. It can also be dried and stored for use later in the winter. It is one of the healthiest herbs, containing an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. It imparts its own sweet, earthy flavour, one that works well with tomatoes!
And that sums up the actors for this play! I hope you’ll give it a try. For super star flavour, let this sauce sit overnight in your fridge. All the ingredients will blend together and you will love the result!