Tonight is home-made pizza night. DH and I are originally from Chicago and we've been working on re-creating a Malnati's or Pizzeria Due's pizza in our home kitchen for ages. Like - since we moved out of the Chicago area around 1987. We've figured out the cheese (in fact, made it better with fontina instead of mozarella). We've figured out the crust (lots of oil/butter in it). We've improved on the sausage (a mix of cheap pork sausage and the beef sausage from a Mennonite slaughterhouse in Far Western Maryland).
But the sauce has been a problem.
We've tried chopping and draining regular canned tomatoes. We've tried diced tomatoes. We've tried tomato puree. We've dried crushed tomatoes. We've tried various mixtures of all of the above. You should see us dissect pizzas when we're back in Chicago visiting family!
Right now our take on the sauce is that it takes a mixture of crushed tomatoes and tomato puree to have the right texture. If we are doing this from home grown tomatoes (see the post earlier this week on our choice for tomatoes in the garden this year), we crush about a pound and a half of them and puree about another pound. For the puree, chop them first and let them well drain, then puree. And you might want to let the puree separate and pour off the 'thin' stuff at the top.
We season that with a LOT of garlic, then we have to add a significant amount of salt to make my husband happy. Once spread on the pizzas (we always make two at a time) we sprinkle with dried oregano and basil to our taste, and bake.
Proper order of ingredients on pizza: crust, cheese, meat (and other toppings - we LOVE mushrooms), sauce, parmesan cheese.
Catch you later!