What’s the first thing on your mind when you think about Italian food? Cookies? Spaghetti? Wedding soup? Oh, come on! It’s pizza, right? It has to be. I’ll shamelessly admit that for me, pizza is love. Sadly, however, it’s incredibly hard to find a restaurant which serves THAT pizza which reminds you of your childhood. The dough is either too crusty, too fluffy, too thick, too…everything.
There is a solution to that though–our monthly homemade pizza bake-off. And by bake-off, I mean everybody is working while I just take the slices when done. And the pièce de résistance for me has always been the tomato sauce. A pizza without a great tomato sauce is like a tree without leaves. Like a sea without fish. Like an actor without a role. Like beef without wine. Like…you get the point.
A great authentic Italian tomato sauce recipe is what makes pizza…pizzalicious. All the other things–mushrooms, salami, cheese–you just throw them all over the place. But if the tomato sauce isn’t right, then nothing is.
But before diving into this authentic Italian tomato sauce recipe, let’s talk a bit about its history. Unsurprisingly, the first appearance of the tomatoes in a recipe book published in Italy, in fact, takes place in Naples, at the end of the XVII century, when Antonio Latini published a collection of recipes.
However, it takes a while for the tomatoes to be combined with pasta and pizza, as they were either served just as they were, or the tomato sauce was accompanying meat dishes. It takes a whole another century for the tomatoes to become a food consumed more widely in Italy, judging by the frequent appearances in a variety of culinary publications. A few decades later, the tomato sauce finally meets its partner in crime–pizza margherita. The rest is history.
Forget about buying tomato sauce in a jar–this authentic Italian tomato sauce recipe with fresh basil will almost make you feel the Mediterranean breeze right in your kitchen. And remember, the freshest tomatoes are ripe, but firm, and free of stains.