Pizza is one of the most popular foods across Italy, the US, and the world at large.
Pizza’s versatility makes it so practical for any time of the day and loved by children and grandparents across the globe, bringing families together around the dining table for centuries.
We have all thought about making Pizza before, whether to impress a first date or to host a kid’s pizza party with some flair.
Oftentimes making your own pizza can seem like a really daunting process that takes a lot of equipment and time, but this isn’t always the case.
Pizza can be made really easily at home, and one of the best places to start can be making a pizza sauce.
Pizza sauce will vary depending on where it’s made and is widely debated by each Italian region.
Neapolitan pizza has a specific pizza culture, pizza-nerds and Italophiles will debate its methods and ingredients until the cows come home, or their pizza is burned.
But Neapolitan pizza is really easy and fun to make and you can get as creative as you want at home without fear of being scorned by traditionalists.
Well, making Neapolitan Pizza sauce is actually extremely simple, but there are a few different ways you can spruce up while still keeping the prep time below five minutes.
How To Make Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Sauce
Many Neapolitans use fresh tomatoes that are pushed through a wire mill or squished through a fine-mesh strainer.
This gives you pure tomato flavor from the freshest ingredients without having to add anything to it.
However, unless you have access to the freshest tomatoes that they do in Napoli, or are making pizza sauce outside of tomato season then there are some ways to achieve the same taste without buying a plane ticket to Napoli
Canned Tomatoes are a great alternative to fresh tomatoes, but there are a few varieties of products to be aware of.
San Marzano tomatoes are considered to be the best tomatoes to use for Italian cuisine due to their perfect balance between sweetness and sharp acidity that we want from a tomato.
This is what allows the Neapolitans to make such a simple pizza sauce.
Although, as mentioned previously, such quality tomatoes aren’t on offer to use so easily as they are in Napoli.
Instead, we can use canned tomatoes that have been preserved in their own tomato puree and transported across the pond for us to use.
Some great brands of San Marzano tomatoes are Mutti, Napolina, and Rega.
It’s almost guaranteed that one of these brands will be available in your local grocery store due to the popularity of Italian cuisine and immigrants in the US.
These brands are considered to be high-quality due to their certification of quality given to them by the governing bodies that watch over food production.
This is what the D.O.P means on your parmesan rind as well as your tomato tin, it means the protected designation of origin which means you know exactly where and how your product has been made.
This guarantees that your tomatoes and sauce will be authentically Neapolitan.
These tomatoes will come whole, but without skin, which means that we can puree them easily and use them as a pure pizza sauce.
As the tomatoes will be preserved in their own tomato puree we can get our stick blender straight in the can and simply give them a few pulses to get the desired texture.
On the other hand, if you don’t own a stick blender then you can easily achieve this with your hands – the Italian way!
If your canned tomatoes come in water instead of puree, which will make them a little cheaper, then you can still puree them how you wish, just make sure you strain the water before you puree them.
How To Spruce Up Your Sauce While Still Staying Authentic And Quick
These quick additions to your sauce help you go the extra mile while still focussing on fresh, quality, and authentic ingredients.
Olive Oil is a great place to start. Italians love using olive oil in their cooking to enhance their dishes with peppery and earthy notes.
This works great in a pizza sauce and also means that your pizza top gets a crispier finish and can be especially helpful if you’ve decided to make a vegan pizza without the addition of cheese.
Extra virgin olive oil is always a great way to go to ensure you have the best quality ingredients, especially when you are using only a few ingredients.
Adding this before you use a hand blender will mean you can emulsify it within the sauce a bit making it creamier and glossier.
If you don’t have a hand blender then simply cook your tomatoes in this sauce a little for maximum flavor.
Another great addition is fresh basil. Fresh basil is the natural herb to bring to your pizza topping and add a world of umami yet herbaceous flavors that perfectly compliment Italian cheeses as well as tomato.
Just pop this in the can before you pulse it and prego, your pizza sauce has leveled up.
Another simple addition is salt or sugar. If you want to balance out the acidity of the tomato then add some more sugar which also helps the sauce be a little sweeter.
Salt will make your sauce a little tangier and the acidity of the tomatoes will pair well with the saltiness you have added. Introduce high-quality olive oil or pepper for a spicy note in your sauce.
These small additions will help your sauce remain authentic to the Italian way while also making the sauce a little more authentic to your style rather than blindly following the pizza traditionalists.
This pizza sauce is traditional, can be made in under five minutes, and is ultimately the taste bomb that will start a thousand culinary journeys through Italy.
Follow this guide to start making your pizza right now!