Jim Lahey's Basic Tomato Sauce


[Photograph: Squire Fox]

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Since Kenji already covered the amazing thing that is Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough last week for our home pizza-making pleasure, let's move on to another fundamental piece of successful pizza-making: the sauce.

In his No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe, Lahey says harmony is his mantra when it comes to toppings. He's not looking for one element to stand out; what's really on his mind is the harmonious marriage of all ingredients. Good concept, right?

So when it comes to sauce making, Jim 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.

Spooned on a Magherita or even on a tomato pie, this sauce does exactly what it's supposed to do, add the pure flavors of tomatoes without overwhelming the integrity of the pie itself.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of 'My Pizza' to give away.