Ahhh, pizza, the true love of my life. It comforts and soothes me after a rough day, makes me feel warm and gooey on the inside, and conjures up so many happy memories. Offer me a slice from anywhere and I will probably eat it but some of the best pizza is made in my own kitchen.
Making a homemade pizza sauce can be very time consuming – hours of simmering on the back burner, if you choose – or as quick as 30 minutes. When I’m looking for comfort food the 30 minute option always wins. Pizza really is so forgiving because the magical combination of bread, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese is so miraculous; for me it is one of the most perfect food combinations, ever. Period.
I bought fresh mozzarella, which is only slightly softer than the firmer grating kind, but it does create a more ooey, gooey, cheese topping. Sprinkle dried herbs or red pepper flakes on top after removing from the oven to ensure the most pungent flavor rather than allowing it to cook. Of course every pizza is as individual as its cook and intended eater, so enjoy the creation of a unique pie!
Fresh Mozzarella Pizza with Homemade Tomato Sauce
8 oz canned tomatoes, whole, crushed, or diced (store bought or homemade)
1/2 cup onion, minced
3-6 cloves garlic, minced (depending on taste)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon red wine (optional)
In small sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Turn heat down to medium and cook another 3-5 minutes until vegetables begin to brown just lightly. Add tomatoes with juice and stir well to combine. Bring to low boil and turn heat down to simmer. Add oregano and wine is using and cook 30 minutes until sauce is well blended and tomatoes have broken down (if using whole tomatoes). Season with salt and remove from heat. If you like a smoother sauce, allow to cool a few minutes before adding to a blender or puree with a handheld blender.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spread sauce over prepared pizza crust (2 8 inch or 1 14 inch) leaving at least 2/3 inch margin to the edge. Top as desired and bake for 12-18 minutes depending upon the thickness of your crust. The top should be bubbly and lightly browning and the crust crisp and browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle on any dried herbs or spices – basil, garlic salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper – and allow to rest 2-3 minutes. Cut and serve!
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