Pizza Sauce

June 10, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • makes 4 cups
Author Notes

Having lived in both Chicago and New York City, I have been wrangled into many debates on the best pizza. I’m not one to argue the merits of a thick deep-dish or a foldable thin crust. For me, the perfect pizza has always come down to the sauce. This pizza sauce recipe is tailor-made for those of us who want the sauce to be the star. It simmers on the stovetop and reduces for hours to develop a depth of flavor, and there is one unexpected secret ingredient that really makes this unique pizza sauce sing.

After adding the typical blend of tomatoes, onion, garlic, and Italian herbs, a pinch of nutmeg is stirred into the sauce. This surprising twist adds a dynamic richness. It is as if that little pinch of nutmeg somehow makes the tomatoes taste even more tomatoey. That’s the beauty of nutmeg. It is a versatile spice with chameleon qualities, and even a small amount can unite and balance a recipe in unexpected ways.

This pizza sauce can stand up to bolder toppings like crumbled Italian sausage or sautéed cremini mushrooms. I find it pairs well with perfectly melted cubes of Fontina cheese and freshly grated ricotta salata. Enjoy a slice or two with a bold Tuscan red such as Brunello di Montalcino and make an evening out of it. The recipe yields enough sauce for several pizzas, so it's the perfect amount to use for one pie now and then refrigerate or freeze the rest for future pizza nights.

What You'll Need
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Pizza Sauce
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans Italian-style plum tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Roughly chop the canned tomatoes and place in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, onion, parsley, garlic, sugar, salt, oregano, basil, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The sauce will reduce and thicken during this time. Use in your favorite homemade pizza recipes.
  4. This recipe makes about 4 cups of sauce. After the sauce has cooled to room temperature, it can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated or frozen. Thaw before using.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

1 Review

Smaug December 21, 2021
It may be belaboring the obvious, but it's best to portion the sauce before freezing, rather than thawing the whole batch each time. I make a similar sauce but reduced somewhat farther; I find that 2 oz. is generous for a 10" pizza. If at all possible fresh basil should be used; drying basil doesn't really work.