We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tomato Pizza Sauce

by Michelle

   Who knew that homemade tomato sauce could illicit such strong opinions? Well, it does. For many tomato connaisseurs there is only one distinct flavor winner for sauces: San Marzano. As an additional vote of confidence the San Marzano is the only tomato that can be used for True Neapolitan Pizza. Since our pizza making is not governed by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, we are free to break free of traditional constraints, although we do applaud efforts to maintain the highest quality standards.

  With all the hubbub around San Marzanos, we hunted specialty retailers for the real thing. We carefully inspected the labels to verify the tomatoes hailed from Italy and not a sub-par varietal grown in the states or other countries. And we can say most assuredly, after multiple taste tests, that they were fine. We doubted our results based not upon our experience, but upon cooking magazines and chef's continually fawning over the San Marzano, the seemingly unchallenged King of Plum Tomatoes. But we had to ask ourselves, were we just cooking with them to gain the applause of our foodie friends?
   After reading Barbara Kingsolver's thought provoking book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life" (Harper Perennial 2008) we began to really consider our own food habits. Do we really need to use a tomato to dress our pizza that has traveled thousands of miles? Surely, farmers grow terrific tomatoes right here in the USA. Sure enough, after multiple taste tests, we like Muir Glen® Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes (grown in Washington state) and Escalon 6-in-1® Tomatoes (California) better than the famous imported plum tomato. Sorry San Marzano, if we choose to expand our carbon footprint, it will be to meet you in Naples.

Tomato Pizza Sauce

   For years, I cooked my tomato sauce seasoned with herbs into a thick ragu. Palettes change and now we sisters prefer the ease and fresh taste of this "uncooked" sauce. After all, the sauce cooks on the pizza, right? Right!

14.5-ounce can Muir Glen® Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes*
2 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly crushed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Open the can of tomatoes, and pour off most of the liquid. Add all ingredients to blender, cover and mix on high for about a minute. Transfer to a wide mouthed lidded jar. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce is best when the flavors are allowed some time to meld; about an hour.  

Servings: 3  Yield: About 1-1/2 cups (enough to make three 12-inch pizzas)

*Or, 1 lb. 12 oz. can Escalon 6-in-1® All Purpose Ground Tomatoes. Due to the larger can, double the rest of the ingredients and follow the recipe as directed. Servings: 6  Yield: About 3 cups (enough to make six 12-inch pizzas)

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