The Spoon Mage’s Favorite Pizza Sauce


2 T olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 (28 oz) can Cento Peeled Italian Roma tomatoes, well crushed by hand
15 large basil leaves, torn in half
1/2 t oregano
Fresh ground black pepper, just a few twists to start
1 pinch salt

Spoon Mage™ Note:

To squish your tomatoes, pour them into a bowl, poke one clean finger through each one and then use your hand to squish them all silly. Crush them until they no longer look like tomatoes. Sometimes if you do not pre-poke the tomatoes, they send up an explosion of tomato insides and which can be quite messy. You’ll learn by doing.

A less expensive brand of roma tomatoes may have tomato “shoulders” in the can. You’ll feel those when you do the squishing. Discard them. They are not good on pizza.

If your brand of tomatoes is too watery you will need to reduce it by simmering longer than the directions ask – which changes the flavor just a little as this is intentionally a minimally cooked sauce. Make sure you taste it after you reduce it. More of all seasonings may be in order.

This recipe is based upon the flavors and textures of Cento Italian Peeled Tomatoes. DeLallo makes good roma tomatoes as well and they are handy to order on line. I happily use both.

There is no need to use the fancy expensive and certified San Marzanos unless you love them. I do not. If you do, adjust seasonings as needed.

It’s your sauce and your tomato choice. Recipes are so cool that way. This one could just be a starter recipe for you. Tweak flavor and make note of the changes, or you may prefer to use one of these delicious sauces – variation one or variation two.


Simmer garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes in a medium pot set over medium low. Stir constantly, but not so fast as to break a sweat. Remove from heat and let the garlic and oil sit a spell. Five minutes is the minimum, but it may sit up to 20 minutes. This allows the garlic to infuse the oil with deliciousness.

Stir the basil, oregano, pepper, and salt into the squished tomatoes and add them to the pot. Do not remove the garlic.

Bring the sauce to a low simmer for 5 minutes.

Set the pot off heat again, this time for at least 1 hour so the flavors can mingle. Uncovered is fine, covered is good if you have cats.

After one hour, taste and adjust the salt to your preference. I don’t use much. You might like more. If you like a thicker sauce, this is the time to cook it down a little over medium heat. It won’t take long, five minutes or so. Stir every now and then and watch it until it is just as thick you like it.

This recipe makes more than enough sauce to for four pizzas. Just 5 tablespoons or so per pizza will do.

Divide the sauce into two containers and freeze one. You’ll be ready for the next two pizzas!

After thawing out a container for future pizzas, it is a good idea to take the time to simmer off any ice crystals that may be living in the sauce. You don’t want to cover your dough with tomato water.

Make the dough of your choice and enjoy!

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