Basic Tomato Sauce

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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.

Recipe Facts

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Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Makes: 8 pizzas

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

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

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