Basic Tomato Sauce

Basic Tomato Sauce
  • Yield:Makes 620 to 800 grams (depending on whether you use fresh or canned tomatoes, which yield a greater volume); or enough for about 8 pizzas
  • Active time:10 minutes for fresh tomatoes, 5 minutes for canned
  • Total time:10 minutes for fresh tomatoes, 5 minutes for canned

[Photograph: Squire Fox]

When it comes to sauce making, Lahey keeps it simple, as in really simple. His Basic Tomato Sauce is nothing more than tomatoes crushed and blended with a bit of salt and olive oil. No cooking, no herbs, no garlic, just tomatoes. He gives two options for tomatoes: canned or fresh. We'd go with a good can of San Marzanos until July rolls around since they're the ones that are going to pack the sweetest, tomato-iest punch.

Reprinted with permission from My Pizza by Jim Lahey. Copyright © 2012. Published by Clarkson Potter. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Ingredients

  • 700 grams (1 ½ pounds) ripe plum tomatoes or 1 794-gram (28-ounce) can peeled Italian plum tomatoes
  • 20 grams (about 2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) fine sea salt

Directions

  1. 1.

    If using fresh tomatoes, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart pot.

  2. 2.

    Cut away the dry stem area of the tomatoes, leaving the core intact. Place 2 or 3 tomatoes at a time in the boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a rack to cool. Peel the tomatoes with a paring knife.

  3. 3.

    Whether using fresh or canned, cut each tomato into several wedges and run them through a food mill over a medium bowl to create a pulp (not a fine puree; you want to retain some texture). If you don’t have a food mill, just squish them with your hands—it’s messy but fun.

  4. 4.

    Stir in the olive oil and salt. The sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.