Italian Essentials: Awesome Pizza Sauce

ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

I love my pizza, and I love my sauces… this is a great sauce that has a lot of flavor, and just a hint of heat. Not so much that it overpowers the sauce, but one that lets the other ingredients come through. It is a perfect sauce, for a perfect pie. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Several
prep time 5 Min
cook time 15 Min
method Stove Top


  •   2 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin
  •   2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  •   1/2 medium
    yellow onion, chopped
  •   1/2 tsp
    dried basil 
  •   1 tsp
    fennel seed
  •   1/2 tsp
    dried oregano
  •   1/2 tsp
    dried parsley
  •   1/2 tsp
    salt, kosher variety
  •   1/4 tsp
    dried marjoram
  •   1/4 Tbsp
    white pepper, freshly ground
  •   1 pinch
    red-pepper flakes
  •   2 clove
    baked garlic 
  •   14 oz
    diced tomatoes, 1 can
  •   8 oz
    tomato sauce, 1 small can
  •   2 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  •   1 Tbsp
    parmesan romano cheese, grated
  •   1 tsp
    balsamic vinegar
  •   1/2 tsp
    sugar, granulated variety

How To Make

  • 1
  • 2
    San Marzano tomatoes are great for this recipe; however, I have had good luck with other, local, brands, such as Hunts.
  • 3
    Baked garlic produces a wonderful earthy flavor to this sauce. If you choose to use regular (not baked) garlic, then use one minced clove; not two.
  • 4
    What is the sugar for? The sugar aids in removing the bitter taste from the canned tomatoes. My suggestion would be to open the canned tomatoes, and give them a taste, if they have a slightly bitter taste, use the sugar. If they do not, you can leave the sugar out. FYI: The better the brand of tomatoes, the less chance they will be bitter.
  • 5
    Butter in a pizza sauce? Adding butter to the sauce helps gives it a richer, fuller mouthfeel.
  • 6
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 7
    Add the butter and oil to a saucepan over medium heat.
  • 8
    When the butter melts, and stops foaming, give the pan a whirl to mix the oil, and butter, then add the onions.
  • 9
    Cook until they begin to soften, but not brown, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • 10
    Add all the dry spices, and stir for an additional minute.
  • 11
    Add the garlic, and stir until fragrant, another 60 seconds. Then remove from heat.
  • 12
    Add the onion/spice mixture to a blender, and then add the sauce ingredients.
  • 13
    Blend until smooth.
  • 14
    So, why not cook the sauce ingredients with the spices, and onions? Well, I would, if they were fresh, not canned ingredients. However, canned ingredients are cooked before being canned, and they will be cooked again when they are used on a pizza. The more times something is cooked, the less flavor.
  • 15
    Do a final tasting for proper seasoning, and then store in a non-reactive container (glass), with a lid, in the fridge, until ready to use.
  • 16
  • 17
    Use anywhere you would use a good pizza sauce. Enjoy.
  • 18
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.