You can use store-bought marinara sauce or other tomato sauces for pizzas and focaccias. But if you would like to make your own, the flavors will be fresher and brighter; plus, you can tweak them to your liking. Here’s our favorite recipe for a crushed tomato sauce, from Peter’s book American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza. This sauce couldn’t be easier to put together. It doesn’t even require any cooking, as the canned tomatoes are already cooked and the sauce will be heated during baking. The flavors of the herbs and garlic will intensify during baking, so resist the urge to add more. If you’d like to use this sauce with pasta, simply heat it in a saucepan.
- Yield: 3 ½ cup; enough for 4 to 6 pizzas or focaccias
- 1 can (28 oz / 794 g) crushed, ground, or whole plum tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, or a combination (optional)
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, or 5 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, or 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, or more as needed
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, and salt.
- Taste and add more salt as desired; the amount needed will vary depending on the brand of tomatoes used.
- Stored in an airtight container, the sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.