Perfect Pizza – this pizza has been my go-to for a long time; crispy and slightly chewy crust with a rich, basil enhanced tomato sauce (plus 2 more of my favorite pizza sauce recipes), topped with gooey mozzarella and parmesan, and drizzled with garlic butter – so. so. good.
You know, there’s nothing better than homemade pizza night. Chad and I love pizza with an unnatural passion, so I make this pizza every single Friday. Without fail (unless I’m being lazy).
Homemade pizza takes a little bit of extra effort, but you get something worlds better than the Pizza Hut across the street, it’s cheaper (especially for me since I cook all the time, most of the time I have everything on hand), and did I mention it’s better?
Sorry for being MIA this week, after talking about how I was going to post more…bad Jenny. School and work is kicking my butt a little, and I’m having to work a little harder to balance everything out. But, I’m baking 4 things tonight, so I should have some good recipes coming up on the site within the next few days!
Back to the pizza – as you saw from the title, I have 3 different sauces to tell you guys about. Really, what is wrong with me?! Why can’t I be happy with just one sauce? I just want you guys to have options!
Okay, sauce 1, and the one that I’ve been using for the past 4-5 months – this is a super basic, no cook, tomato sauce where you blend everything up and use immediately, which I love! It also has a flavor closest to what you would get at a pizza place, say Papa John’s, Domino’s, etc. I like this because it makes me think I’m being bad and eating out when I’m really eating in!
Sauce 2 – a little fancier, a little more effort, Tomato Basil Sauce. Diced tomatoes are cooked down with garlic, dried basil and other various Italian spices, salt, and olive oil. It’s cooked down for about 15 minutes and reduces down to creamy, incredible tomato sauce. Leave as is or blend it up; either way you have a great sauce. It tastes a little fancier, a little less like the run of the mill pizza places, and I love it.
Last sauce – and really, I hesitate to call this a sauce because it’s so damn simple. Just get the best San Marzano tomatoes you can get your hands on (I love Cento), season them with a little salt, and that’s it. This is a more authentic Italian sauce, just very simple, rustic, and tasty. I normally use this to make Margherita pizza (shown below), and I just make the dough, puree the tomatoes with a little salt, place slices of fresh mozzarella, and bake in a screaming hot oven. Top with some fresh basil; it tastes like a little piece of Italy!
So those are my 3 favorite sauces, but really – you could use any sauce…Pesto! Alfredo! Roasted red pepper! Anything your heart desires. So anyways, my favorite right now is the pizza-restaurant style sauce, so I’m going to put how to make that sauce in the pizza recipe, but I’ll also include my two other favorite sauce recipes below that.
Anyways, you have no excuse not to make this pizza! Go! I promise, you won’t look at Pizza Hut the same way again.
Pizza dough from Bobby Flay
- For the pizza dough –
- 1-1/8 teaspoons active dry (or instant) yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3/4 cup water, very warm (115-120 degrees)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/2-2 cups bread flour
- For the pizza sauce (you will have some leftover, I normally make double the amount and freeze it) –
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil (or 3-4 leaves fresh basil)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- Pinch of crushed red pepper (or a pinch of cayenne, optional)
For topping –
2 cups (8 ounces) mozzarella cheese (no generic brands since they tend not to melt as well, Kraft is my favorite)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Garlic butter –
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
- To make the pizza dough – put the active dry yeast into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add in the honey and the warm water; whisk together with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes to activate.
- Add the salt and olive oil to the yeast mixture. Add in 1-1/2 cups of the bread flour, and knead in the stand mixer on medium speed until no longer sticky, 5-6 minutes (add in the rest of the flour a little at a time, you might not need all of it). If the dough is too sticky or sticks to the bowl a lot, add in more flour a tablespoon at a time and knead until no longer sticky.
- Place in an oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for at least 45 minutes.
- To make the pizza sauce – blend together the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, basil, garlic salt, and crushed red pepper. Save leftover sauce in the fridge for up to a week or freeze until needed.
- To assemble the pizza – line a large sheet pan (I believe mine is 10×14, or something close to that) with aluminum foil. Drizzle the aluminum foil with olive oil.* Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Take out the pizza dough, and punch it down a little to deflate it. Press it out using your fingers until it covers the surface of the aluminum foil.
- Top the pizza dough generously with pizza sauce, and spread all over the dough. Top with mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Bake pizza on the bottom rack of your oven until golden brown and bubbly, 12-14 minutes.
- To make the garlic butter – place the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle garlic powder and garlic salt on top. Microwave for 20-25 seconds, or until melted. Brush the garlic butter over the crust of the pizza, and/or drizzle on top of the pizza if desired.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and eating.
- You could also use a pizza stone, and omit the aluminum foil and olive oil. Or, use a circular baking sheet to get more of restaurant style pizza.
The following are two of my other favorite pizza sauces!
Tomato Basil Sauce
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan, and cook over medium high heat until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for at least 15 minutes, until the sauce reduces down a little bit. Remove from the heat. Use as is or blend until smooth.
Or, go for a simple, rustic tomato sauce that is just like being in Italy:
Simple Pizza Sauce
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (I use cento)
Salt (I normally use at least a teaspoon, taste as you go)
- Blend together the tomatoes and the salt. Add in a few basil leaves if desired, and/or add basil leaves on top of the pizza before slicing.