Sweet Tomato Sauce and Margarita Pizza

Pizza.  Everyone loves it.  And in this day and age there are so many varieties out there to choose from, you could eat it every day for a month and never feel like you’ve had the same meal twice.  There is thick crust, thin crust, and flat bread.  There is tomato sauce, white sauce, and pesto.  There are standard toppings, gourmet toppings, and even international inspired toppings.  Our favorite Spatular Billy would be upset if we didn’t mention his favorite Trenton Pizza.  And don’t forget about the always popular 2am pizza from your favorite late night joint!
But with all those varieties out there, sometimes all we want is true simplicity.  A flavorful sauce, good mozzarella cheese, and fresh herbs.  Which is exactly what today’s recipe is.  There is no better way to start off your weekend than with a homemade Margarita Pizza!  If you have time, we highly recommend making your own sauce too.  You just won’t find one this sweet or flavorful on your grocery store shelf.


-1 small onion, chopped

-2 cloves garlic, minced
-28 oz can of whole San Marzano Tomatoes
-1/4 fresh herbs, chopped
-1 Tbs light brown sugar
-1-1 1/2 tsp salt

-Pizza dough (we like this recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

-Pizza sauce
-4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
-7-8 basil leaves, torn
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over a medium flame.  Once hot, add onions, garlic, and a 1/2 tsp of salt.  Allow to cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.  You want the onions to be soft and caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness.  Add the entire contents of San Marzano tomatoes.  They are a little pricey, but their distinct flavor and natural sweetness really makes a difference in this simple sauce.  Use the back of a wooden spoon to gently break up the tomatoes.  Allow sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add herbs and brown sugar and stir to combine.  Continue to allow sauce to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  Once the flavors have come together, process the sauce until smooth in a blender or food processor.  Since the San Marzano tomatoes still have their seeds, this is an important step.  Once the sauce has been processed, you’ll never know they were there.  Return sauce to frying pan and continue to simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes or so.  Add salt to taste (probably another half to whole tsp).  Spread on pizza immediately or freeze for use in the future.

For the pizza, start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet (or pizza pan if you have it) with cornmeal.  If you don’t have any cornmeal on hand, grease it well to avoid sticking.

On the counter, roll pizza dough out very thinly.  We were going for a rustic pizza today, so we just went free form with the shape.  Once you are happy with the dough, transfer it to your baking sheet.  The homemade dough recipe above from Smitten Kitchen super easy, btw.  We like to substitute in half whole wheat flour when we make it.  If you don’t have time for that though, store bought dough will do the trick.

Spread dough with a generous amount of sauce, since it really is the star of the show here.  Leave about an inch wide border between the sauce and the edge of your crust.  Top sauce with slices of cheese and basil leaves.  Finally bake pizza on the bottom rack of your oven for about 12 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is well melted.

Simple pizza for a simple Saturday.  Nothing says “weekend” more than that.

Tall and Small

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