Saucy!

We eat a lot of pizza. A couple of times a month. Okay, more like once a week. Believe me when I say no delivery place can beat the taste, or cost, of homemade.

Tonight I experimented with homemade pizza sauce, with NO cans of anything, for the first time ever. I am not a fan of most tomato sauces because they are too sweet for my tastes, which plays into why I have avoided trying to make my own sauce for so long. Guys, it was so easy! And about a thousand times better than the jarred brand I normally use. Tangy, fresh tomato flavor with just a hint of sweetness and perfectly seasoned. And you can customize the ingredients to suit your taste. I think next time I will play around with adding mushroom to the sauce. You can check out that recipe towards the bottom of the post 😉

For several years we’ve had a wooden pizza peel but found it difficult to use due to the thickness of the thing. The edge is quite thick and barely tapered. Now the design flaw is obvious, but I failed to consider that aspect when I purchased it. I think I was blinded by my love of wooden kitchen utensils. I pretty much threw $30 in the trash when I bought this thing.

Enter the Tesion 12-Inch x 14-Inch Aluminum Pizza Peel with Wood Handle. This 26″ long pizza peel boasts a natural wood handle, 8″ long, to protect your hands from heat (and as you will come to see as you read my blog, I am prone to accidents like burning myself, so something that keeps my hands out of the oven is a good thing). The handle is smooth and without splinters, and well attached, no wiggling or looseness at the base where the handle meets the head.

The 12″x14″ aluminum head is large enough to adequately hold a good sized pizza. It’s thin, but sturdy enough that weight of a fully loaded pizza posed no problem at all. But the best part? A thin edge!!!  It’s like a giant spatula! It is so easy to transfer baked pizzas out of the oven now! However, getting the uncooked dough onto & off of the peel wasn’t very easy, even with cornmeal. This might have something to do with our method, more than the peel itself. I did notice that the aluminum scuffs easily, but clean up is a breeze.

In the end this pizza peel is still  much more user friendly than my short handled, thick wooden one. If only I had known before, I could have saved myself some dough (see what I did there? Lol).

Pizza Sauce: 

  • Approx 5 lb Roma tomatoes
  • 1 c water
  • 1 T white vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1/4 c celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 t basil, dried
  • 1 t oregano, dried
  • 1/2 t thyme, dried
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary, dried
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed (you can use the back of a spoon)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a dash cayenne pepper
  • bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar- if you like it sweet just add more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  1. Blanche the tomatoes- this makes the skin slide right off. Peel & chop, reserving any juices.
  2. Heat the oil/melt the butter in a saucepan. Add onion ,garlic, and celery, cooking until translucent. Add the seasonings* (not the cheese, bay leaf, sugar, or salt) & cook about 30 seconds more. Remove from heat
  3. Add your tomatoes and onion mixture to blender. Blend until smooth. Return to pot.
  4.  Stir in rest of ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer about 2 hours, until thickened, stirring occasionally.

*I like to crumble my dry seasonings in by hand, rubbing them between my palms, to release their fragrance. Smells heavenly.

 

We made a supreme pizza because my husband likes them, but personally, I love a crispy thin crust pepperoni loaded with jalapenos.

What pizza toppings are your favorite?

 

I received a Tesion pizza peel at free or reduced cost in trade for my honest review. As always, the thought & opinions expressed are my own.

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