San Marzano tomatoes are the most authentic tomatoes to make your tomato pizza sauce from, but if you are unable to get hold of these then use other varieties. Crush the tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher for best results, a food processor blitzes the seeds of the tomatoes down too and this can leave your sauce a little bitter. If you are baking the pizza in a very hot brick oven then there is no need to cook the sauce beforehand, but in most kitchens and normal everyday ovens then it is best to pre-cook it. Just experiment with your sauces and make it the way that you find the tastiest. If you want to thicken a sauce, then add a little more tomato purée, and a little thinner, then add a splash of red wine. Easy! There are many arguments as to whether to use fresh or dried herbs, fresh or tinned tomatoes and which other ingredients, but it is all a matter of choice and taste, there are no hard and fast rules in your kitchen.

Crushed Tomato Pizza Sauce

2 x 15 oz tins of San Marzano tomatoes or other plum tomatoes
1 teasp dried oregano or sprig of fresh
½ teasp salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
2 cloves garlic
fresh basil leaves

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and, over a low heat gently fry the garlic cloves for a few minutes. Remove the browned cloves and discard. Put the tomatoes into the oil and crush, add the remaining ingredients and stir whilst heating everything right through. Leave to stand to develop the flavours.

Authentic Italian Pizza Sauce

Place 1 large or 2 medium sized tins of tomatoes in a bowl. Chop 2 cloves of garlic and add to the tomatoes. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Tear a handful of basil leaves and add. Squeeze all together with your hands and cover the bowl and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This is a really fresh tasting pizza sauce.

Spicy Pizza Sauce

2 x 15 oz tins whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tblsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teasp dried oregano
pinch red chilli flakes
2 sprigs fresh basil leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
1 teaspoon sugar

Purée the tomatoes with a hand blender, but still retain some texture. Place the butter and olive oil in a pan and heat over a medium-low heat. Add garlic, oregano, chilli and pinch of salt, cook stirring frequently until smelling good but not brown!! about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, onion and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and leave for about 1 hour. Season. Cool and place in a container in the fridge until ready to use. This will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

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