Updated: Nov 14, 2020
A few years ago, my husband started making bread nearly every day. It's been absolutely brilliant and he's become a bit of a pro - so much so that I haven't made a single yeasted product (apart from hot cross buns). From early on, he was making our pizza bases so the children could have fun rolling out and assembling their own pizzas, but I would use jar sauce. Why??? It seemed so silly when we had such lovely pizza bases to work with. It's so easy to make your own and INFINITELY better. I will never go back!
Ingredients: (covers at least four 12-inch pizzas)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large or two medium-small onions
3 sticks of celery, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
150g tomato paste (NZ)/purée (UK)
2 x 400g tins of chopped or whole tomatoes in juice
a handful of fresh basil (if you have it), roughly chopped
1-2 tsp dried oregano
a squeeze of honey
In a medium pot on a low-medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic and celery and cook gently until soft. Add the tomato paste/purée and mix through the vegetables for a minute or two, then add the oregano, chopped tomatoes and squeeze of honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20-25 minutes on a very low heat. Blend the sauce either with a stick blender in the pot or in a heatproof blender. Return to the heat if you feel it isn't reduced enough to spread thickly on a pizza base. It should be the consistency of, say, a thick curry sauce rather than a paste. Whatever you don't use should be frozen or kept in the fridge if you're likely to use it within a week. I freeze mine all the time and it's always a bonus when I find it for next time!
This sauce is a great base for any tomato-based sauce - I use it for meatballs or involtini (though I more often use my 'hidden vegetable sauce' for those - recipe coming, and particularly good for vege-phobic children). The celery is key for my taste, even if it isn't particularly authentic! It provides such a beautiful depth of flavour.