So, I've been making my own pizza for years - sometimes with a pre-baked crust from the store, sometimes with one of those refrigerated pizza crusts and sometimes with my own dough. Through the goods and the bads of pizza dough I always found one consistently bad thing - the sauce! I am not a fan of the store bought pizza sauces that come in jars and bottles, so I've tried half-heartedly to make my own pizza sauce time and time again. Sometimes I would use straight marinara sauce - didn't quite cut it. The next time I'd doctor-up my marinara sauce with a little oregano - still not quite right. To my surprise, internet searches for a pizza sauce recipe yielded nothing! In the end I'd resort to going back to store bought sauce because I just couldn't 'get it'. FINALLY, about a year ago I came across this recipe on Annie's Eats (I know I've said it before, but this girl's blog has seriously changed my life!) and it happened - I finally 'GOT IT'! This pizza sauce is ridiculously easy to make! If you have 5 minutes and a food processor you can probably whip up a batch out of your pantry right now! I find that this recipe makes enough to cover at least two pizzas. When I make a batch I usually use half and freeze the other half for another time. When using from frozen I suggest you reheat it gently on the stove for a few minutes to thicken it up a bit. The sauce tends to be a bit watery when defrosted from frozen.
Give this one a try! I promise - you'll never buy store bought pizza sauce again!!
DIY Pizza Sauce
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate (or freeze) until ready to use.
Adapted from Annie's Eats
What a weekend! I don't know why, but I made myself a kitchen to-do list that was simply insane! I had 14 different recipes on my list and I managed to accomplish 12 of them between Friday night and Saturday night! I was tired but it felt good to cook up some wholesome meals for the weekend and to have leftovers for lunches all week. We are challenging ourselves not to eat at any restaurants during February. What better way to do this than to stock the house with yummy things we love to eat! Some of this weekend's creations included bread, rolls, taquitos, pizza, enchiladas and chocolate chip pancakes - all from Annie's Eats. If you haven't checked her site out yet, you really should! Some of the recipes I'll be sharing here over the next few posts will be Meatballs and Marinara Sauce (which we made into yummy Meatball Sandwiches), Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies, and Baked Potato Soup. I hope you give some of these recipes a try and let me know your thoughts!
The recipe for the meatballs is my mom's tried-and-true recipe. I made 13 meatballs from the batch, but you could easily make them smaller and make 18-20. The marinara sauce is a relatively new recipe for me. I'd been making the same recipe for years and was really sick of it. This new recipe is quickly becoming a family favorite!
Meatballs and Marinara Sauce
Makes 18-20 Meatballs
For the Marinara Sauce
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 x 28 ounces cans whole-peeled tomatoes - I prefer San Marzano
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Combine olive oil, garlic cloves and red pepper flakes in a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden, about 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes to pan and crush with your hands or a wooden spoon. Rinse tomato can with 1 cup of water and add to saucepan. Add basil and season with salt. Increase heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until thick, about 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
For the Meatballs
1 lb ground beef (I used 80% ground chuck)
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup plain, dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I like Parmigiano Reggiano)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together with your hands, being mindful not to over-mix. Form into 18-20 meatballs. Add meatballs to the simmering sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is thickened, 1-2 hours.
The finished product with some provolone and a fresh baked roll!
Marinara Sauce: Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine, March 2010
Meatballs: Mimi's original :)
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!