Sometimes what seems like a frustration is actually a great opportunity in disguise. Just typing that makes me feel wiser than I really am, but it is definitely something I have learned over and over again during the course of my cooking adventures in China. Because the way I want to cook, or the things I think should be easy to buy, is often not a possibility I'm forced to get creative, or hands on, or both and either make it work or give up the ghost.
With a pizza craving in full swing, it was time to either do what I can with what I can get, or ignore the craving and hope it goes away (yeah, right). I didn't particularly feel like making my own sauce, or my own dough, but like I said, you make it work, and in the process you learn a thing or two.
Turns out, pizza sauce is a snap to make! So simple that I doubt I'll ever opt for the store bought stuff again. Seriously, you guys, it's embarrassingly easy. Try it and love it. I know you will!
This sauce is pretty adaptable depending on what you have on hand. The recipe below outlines what I used, but I've included some notes for suggested additions if you happen to have those items on hand (I did not).
As a note, you can buy mediocre delivery pizza from places like Papa John's and Pizza Hut here (both far worse than their North American counterparts), but I wanted good pizza. Pizza with my ingredients ... so here we are!
Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or canned
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large clove garlic, chopped or minced
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 small bay leaves
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 - 1 tsp sugar to taste
pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes, optional
- Over medium heat combine the garlic and oil in a saucepan. Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Bring to a light boil and reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes to allow flavours to meld.
- Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and use on your next homemade pizza!
- Alternatively, allow to cool completely, pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 1 week.
If I was in Canada I probably would have made my own tomato sauce as well, but this was not a possibility. Canned works perfectly fine.
Extra spices are highly recommended (think oregano or general italian seasoning), I didn't miss them but I made sure to use a fairly flavoured tomato sauce as my base because I knew I would be missing those additions.