My husband is a gadget guy. I’m sure I’ve told you that before. You need a degree in engineering to run the tv remote and have to call tech support to get something to print. Luckily, he’s also my own personal tech support, so that works out pretty good for me.
Well, he recently came home one night with that “cat who ate the canary look” and refused to answer any questions as to where he had been and specifically “What did you buy?!” The fact that my son ran upstairs immediately told me they had definitely been up to something.
I didn’t find out what that something was until the next day when my mom popped over and asked me what that “thing” was in the garage. My husband gave a shout out to my son that he better “Run! The jig is up!” and again he turned around and ran past me to get up the stairs before I could grab hold of the little bugger.
Turns out the “thing” was a pizza oven. And technically it belongs in the garage, as it is the size of a Volkswagen. Truth y’all! A Volkswagen! Alright, maybe a Mini Cooper. But you get the idea.
It looks like a smoker of some sort. It is fueled by propane and heats up to like a zillion degrees and the pizza stone inside spins to cook evenly. If you stand too close your eyebrows will start to singe, for realz!
Honestly though, despite the size, it cooks a mean pizza. Crispy crust, browned cheese, curly pepperoni. There is nothing better than when the pepperoni curls into little cups that hold the grease. Sorry, there isn’t.
Usually by him bringing home some new toy, I am issued a challenge. This challenge was of course to master the pizza. We’ve tried several different crust recipes (will post later) and we have finally nailed the sauce.
Actually, he nailed the sauce. I say this with much pride, as he is not much of a cook. But he is persistent. He is also very methodical. He has to have a recipe and there’s no deviating from it. He enjoys the “science” behind cooking. He loves the Food Network show Good Eats with Alton Brown who explores the origin of ingredients and how and why they do what they do. He’s like Bill Nye the Science Guy, but in the kitchen.
Pizza sauce is different from marinara. It is thicker so as not to soggify the crust. In case you weren’t aware, soggify is a word. You know “to render soggy”. Just giving you a little vocab lesson. It is extremely flavorful loaded with garlic, Italian herbs, olive oil and good quality peeled, crushed tomatoes. Any acidity is balanced out by a few tablespoons of brown sugar and carrot. Kind of strange, I know. But it totally works!
My kids don’t like the texture of the tomatoes, a little too “chunky” for them. You know, like a real vegetable, God forbid! So once it’s cooked, I throw it in my blender for a couple spins and it creates the perfect pizza sauce texture. But feel free to leave it as is if you like a chunkier sauce. Just remember, it is a bit more liquidy (I’m pretty sure that’s a word).
You don’t need a pizza oven to cook up a good pizza either, just the right ingredients and a super hot oven. This sauce is perfect and a great base for any kind of toppings you want to throw on. This sauce is on the sweeter side, which I am a fan of. Like a “beach pizza” type sauce.
Now I don’t have to order out for pizza. This pie is better than any of the local pizza joints and the kids love making their own pies. This sauce is a total winner and makes up for the lost space in the garage. I can’t wait for the next gadget to arrive.
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- 1 (28 ounce) can ground peeled tomatoes (I use Pastene brand)
- 1 teaspoon dried onion, minced or chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves fresh minced garlic, or pressed
- 1 baby carrot pressed through a garlic press or very finely minced ( about a 1/2 Tbls)
- 2 Tbls brown sugar
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add all ingredients, stir and simmer uncovered on low, stirring occasionally for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. It does splatter a bit, I put a cover half-way on to let the steam escape and semi save my stove from being covered in sauce.
- Place hot sauce in blender or food processor and give it a couple whirls to get rid of the chunks, if desired.
Note: Sauce can be easily be frozen and thawed before use.
Recipe slightly modified from Food.com thanks Iron Mike!