July 26, 2015

Pizza Sauce

I had a couple of people ask for my recipe for pizza sauce (see "Too Many Tomatoes"). I thought I had it in a blog post, but only found comments about it scattered here and there. So here it is, all in one post.

Homegrown Pizza Sauce

There is actually no difference between my pizza sauce and ordinary spaghetti sauce. It's just that we eat more pizza than spaghetti, hence the name. Ingredients are simple:
  • tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • seasonings of your choice
  • lemon juice or citric acid

I usually freeze my tomatoes and make my sauce when the weather turns cooler.

Bags of tomatoes in the freezer for canning later. TIP: Frozen tomatoes
are easier to peel than with boiling water & ice baths. Just dunk the
frozen tomato in lukewarm water. The skins easily peel and slip right off.

To defrost and prepare for sauce making, you have two options. If you have something like a Squeezo Strainer or a Roma Sauce Maker, then the tomatoes can be defrosted and processed into juice with one of these.

The Roma removes seeds and skins easily

Alternatively, pop the frozen tomatoes into a large pot,

Frozen Amish Paste tomatoes 

and cook down until soft. Then run them through something like a Foley Food Mill to remove skins and seeds.

Processing them with my Foley food mill.
Pour all that lovely tomato juice into a crock pot or slow cooker and add your favorite herbs and spices.

Tomato juice cooking down with homegrown thyme, oregano, & rosemary

Cook down to the consistency you desire. I find it takes about two days to decrease the volume by half.

Crock pot tomato sauce
I can my sauce in pints, which is a couple weeks worth of pizzas for Dan and me.

I add one half teaspoon salt per pint, plus either one tablespoon lemon juice or one quarter teaspoon citric acid. They are processed in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

And there you have it.

Friday night special


Dawn said...

Great stuff, I dont eat pizza but eat spaghetti may give this a try like the idea of freezing the toms whole :-)

Leigh said...

Oh yes, any pasta or veggie dish will do! The nice thing about freezing tomatoes is that it makes for easier peeling. Just dunk in lukewarm water and the skins will slip right off.

Frank and Fern said...

Looks great, Leigh. The last picture brings up another question for me. How do you make your pizza crust? I have toyed with the idea of trying sourdough for the crust but I'm not sure how it would taste. Just curious.


Kris said...

I make my soup/sauce that way - freeze then defrost. My trick is that I let the toms defrost on low heat and as the clear 'whey' is released, I ladle it out. When all the toms are defrosted - what remains is already thick and ready to simmer. Oh, too enjoy pizza again. But a gluten-free diet puts the kibosh on that. GF pizza crust. Nasty stuff.... *whine* ;-D

Leigh said...

I have to admit that my pizza crust is one of those sacred do-not-touch recipes, or so declares Dan! If you love sourdough you might love a sourdough pizza. You can also add a teaspoon of baking soda to the dough to offset the sour taste.

Mine is a yeast recipe using unbleached white flour. I mix the dough in my bread maker

1 cup warm whey
1/2 tbsp bakers yeast
generous drizzle of honey
3 cups white flour
1 tsp. sea salt
large glug of olive oil

I let the yeast proof first, then add the rest of the ingredients. I've tried whole wheat or oat flour, but it always gets a thumbs down. Once a week I figure I can indulge my husband in the pizza he loves.

Leigh said...

Great tip! That watered down "juice" could have a lot of uses as well.

I haven't ever tried GF pizza, but I imagine it would be a disappointment if one was used to the "real" thing. :(

DFW said...


Do you cook the sauce in the crock pot with the lid off or on?

Quinn said...

Oh that pizza looks good! I've been staying away from potatoes and tomatoes for a while now, but hoping it won't be permanent...the occasional pizza is a favorite treat.

Melanie said...

Thanks for sharing your process. I admit, I've never considered using the Crockpot, I'm definitely trying that. My tomatoes are producing exceptionally well, so I'll have plenty with which to experiment.

Ed said...

I make my sauce the same way but I usually cook it down on the stove and end up with a mess to clean up off the bottom of the pan. Ever since I saw your post about the slow cooker, I've been jonesing to try it out but last year we didn't raise any tomatoes and this year they are all almost dead from the blight so I may have to wait yet another year to try it out. I have half a mind to buy a whole bunch at a farmers market a long way from here where tomatoes are growing better just to try it out.

Leigh said...

Good question. I usually leave a wooden spoon in the pot and put the lid on so the spoon helps vent it.

Leigh said...

Two hard foods to stay away from! Especially in the typical American diet. Have you tried an Alfredo pizza? I love them but Dan doesn't.

Leigh said...

Melanie, the thing I like the crock pot is that it eliminates the possibility of burning. Plus I can go off and do other things while the sauce cooks down. It's a really nice way to make sauce.

DFW said...

Thanks. I thought it would dry out too much without a lid but not enough with it on completely.

Harry Flashman said...

That looks tasty. I don't think I have had a pizza since the kids left. It's too far to go to town. My wife sometimes buys those frozen one's, but I don't like them. We've never made our own.

Leigh said...

Go for the farmers market tomatoes! I won't need tomatoes this year, but I surely wish we had a farmers market so I could get cucumbers for my dill pickles.

Leigh said...

There's just something about homemade pizza, even if none of the ingredients are homemade. Nothing compares. :)

Farmer Barb said...

We have raised a crop of pizza snobs. I make it or we don't eat it. I put a little dark rye flour in my unbleached white flour. Now that we have bees, I will try honey.


1st Man said...

Well first, I had no idea you could freeze toms like that. Great tip! And secondly, so you put the sauce in the crockpot and let it simmer for two days on low? That's wonderful and I bet the flavor is intensely tomatoey (is that a word? Ha). And yes, any pizza is a good pizza.... ;-)

Sandy Livesay said...


Thank you for providing your pizza sauce and sauce recipe!
Along with your dough recipe. I'm going to borrow it if you don't mind, and try it out the next time I make pizza.

I have a silly question, are you Italian?


Leigh said...

You know, I think a little dark rye in the crust would be tasty and might even go over here (as long as I didn't say anything before hand, LOL)

Leigh said...

1st Man, it's the only way to deal with tomatoes when you live in the south! I do turn the crock pot off at night, I should have mentioned that. I can only add that the house smells wonderful because of it.

Leigh said...

Sandy, you're welcome. I've traced most of my ancestors back to England, but Dan is half Italian. :)

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi! Your pizza sauce sounds delicious but my mind goes to how much electricity I would have to use. Nancy

Unknown said...

Yum Yum Yum... i see pizza sauce in my future.

Renee Nefe said...

the dough recipe I make is very similar, but I use Garlic salt instead of regular to give the crust a boost of flavor. ;)

Leigh said...

Renee, I sometimes add garlic powder! It's a nice addition, don't you think?

Leigh said...

Nancy, electrical usage is always on my mind too, which is another reason I prefer the crock pot cook-down method. My stove is 220 volts, but the crock pot is 110 volts. The cooking down takes awhile, so I figure I'm better off with the lower usage implement. That's also why I prefer my toaster oven for baking or re-heating leftovers, and my bread machine for baking bread. Every little bit helps.

Alternatively for the sauce, I can cook it down on my wood cookstove, keeping it off to the side rather than directly over the firebox. The cookstove makes a wonderful slow cooker in that way!

Leigh said...

It's about the easiest recipe I could come up with. :)

Meredith said...

Sounds delicious! Our family has a weekly pizza night, and I can our own pizza sauce that I also cook down in the crockpot. Totally worth it! :-)

M.E. Masterson said...

I saw this the other day. Today I was a bit frantic trying to remember who had this recipe...so glad I found it again. I brought in a bunch of tomatoes from the garden mostly roma's and am wanting to process them for this sauce. Thank you for the recipe Leigh!

Gill - That British Woman said...

that does indeed look good. Now I fancy some pizza! Having quiche for supper though.

Natalie said...

I never thought to reduce it in a slow cooker. That opens up a whole new world for me. Thanks for sharing!

Lynda said...

Spent my cabin vacation making this sauce! 300#'s of tomatoes and 3 electric roasters (2 days...48 hours...propped lid)...the neighbor's across the creek commented how wonderful the smell was and asked to buy a few pints!!