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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jersey Style Pizza Sauce.

Rich, delicious, and best of all... easy.

Growing up in South Jersey near the shore, pizza was something we always took for granted. Go to the mall, grab a slice, and hang out. Or walking along the boardwalk with one of those massive slices from the three foot wide pizzas on display. It never occurred to me that what I enjoyed was unique to the Tri-State area.

I found out soon enough. Most of the towns in other states only had chain pizza places, if they had pizza at all. In Germany, I was introduced to the crispy thin crust of the pizzeria outside our base. They were great- and even threw chopped garlic on it before baking - but it wasn't home.

I began looking for ways to duplicate the taste of home. I managed to get the crust right, but I needed the sauce as well. Something with a rich flavor, earthy sweetness, and just a little bite. After much digging and trial and error, I finally created my own version. Some of the techniques are borrowed, but the result is unique. You can use it for pizza, calzones, (or as they call them here, panzerottis,) strombolis, basically anything that has a bread base and is covered with toppings. Try it. You will definitely love it.

You'll need:
Either - 1 28 oz can of crush tomatoes, or 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes and 4-6 fresh tomatoes, puréed
1 large or 2 medium onions,cut in half
3 cloves of crushed garlic
2-3 sprigs of fresh basil
Kosher salt
1 tsp. oregano
1-2 tsp sugar
1 tsp. butter
2 tbsp or so olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes



In a medium sauce pan, warm oil and butter over medium heat. Once heated, add garlic stir for about three seconds, and add tomatoes, oregano, a dash of salt, the sugar, and red pepper flakes. Stir until seasonings are blended in, then add the onion halves and basil, as pictured below:

Just the beginning of something great. (Yeah I posed the basil a bit.) 

Reduce heat and simmer, checking and stirring, ensuring the sauce doesn't stick and the onions don't caramelize ( it changes the color and flavor of the sauce... and not too favorably.) Taste along the way - adjust a little if need be, and if you find it too thick, thin it a little with broth (your choice) or tomato juice. Don't think there's enough basil? Add a little dried. It works in a pinch.


Almost ready...
After about an hour and a half the sauce will slowly render down and thicken to the perfect pizza sauce. At that point, remove the sprigs and onions and discard them. Turn off the heat, stir, and let cool a little before putting it onto your fresh dough. Enjoy!

Home made stromboli, using both my dough and sauce.



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