From its humble beginnings as a working man's street food to the most ubiquitous dish in the world, pizza is what it is today thanks to tomatoes. By the 19th century, Italians had artfully incorporated this native Mexican crop into the simple sauce that distinguishes pizza from the throngs of flatbread varieties that came before it.
Today, pizza has countless iterations, from gourmet restaurant style to store-bought frozen. It is also a popular dish to make at home, often with the help of store-bought dough and tomato sauces. If bottled sauce didn't make your grocery list for homemade pizza night, canned tomatoes are the household staple that'll come to your rescue.
Tomato sauce is, after all, a basic blend of cooked tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. Therefore, a can of crushed or whole peeled tomatoes provides the bulk of a pizza sauce's ingredients. Furthermore, since pizza sauce is inherently uncooked, a sauce for pizza using canned tomatoes is even simpler than you can imagine. All you need to do is open a can of crushed or whole tomatoes, and pour it into a bowl with a few spoonfuls of olive oil and freshly grated garlic, blending to combine.
No fancy equipment is necessary as you can use a potato masher, fork, or even your hands to break the tomatoes down into a fresh, chunky sauce. Spread a layer of sauce over your dough, top it with cheese and anything else you fancy, and let the oven do the rest.
The Best Canned Tomatoes For Your Pizza Sauce
While pizza isn't protected under the Italian Denominazione di Origine Protetta, (protected designation of origin) or DOP, certain pizza ingredients are. If you're eating pizza in Naples, it's likely to be topped with iconic San Marzano tomatoes DOP, which are sold canned in most supermarkets around the U.S. and Western Europe. San Marzano whole or crushed tomatoes are ideal for making the most authentic pizza sauce. If you want the approved version, make sure it has DOP on the can. However, we're saying that any high-quality canned tomatoes will do.
You can choose between whole, crushed, or pureed canned tomatoes. Whole are the purest and arguably tastiest form of canned tomatoes, while crushed or pureed are the most convenient. Olive oil and finely chopped garlic are all you need to create a well-balanced aromatic, earthy, savory pizza sauce. If you want to mellow the spiciness of fresh garlic, you can let the tomato sauce sit for a few hours in the fridge before using it. You can also doctor the sauce with traditional seasonings like basil, oregano, and freshly cracked pepper.
If you're set on cooking canned tomatoes into a thicker, richer sauce, you can add them to sauteed onions and olive oil to simmer for half an hour. A pre-cooked sauce is more likely to burn and dry out in the oven, so, in general, a cooked tomato sauce is better suited for pasta than for pizza.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.