The Key To Homemade Pizza Sauce Lies In The Seasoning

When it comes to pizza, though cheese has a tendency to steal the spotlight, sauce is the true unsung hero. It's the strongest source of flavor on the pie, and it adds an acidic zing to cut through the richness of cheese and bread. If the sauce is bland, the whole pie is bland. Luckily, Mashed recipe developer Kristen Carli has identified the secret formula for the perfect pizza sauce, and it's all about the flavors. Other than salt and pepper, this easy pizza sauce recipe calls for Italian seasoning — a mix of all the herbs essential to any recipe from Italy — to achieve the perfect blend. As the sauce simmers, the herbs will become more fragrant and add depth and complexity.

After you try this sauce, Carli said, you won't want to go back to the store-bought variety. "Any chance I can make something at home, I love to do it as it is often healthier," they said, noting that this doesn't contain sugar like most options from the store. The sauce is also incredibly simple to prepare, requiring only a few flavor-packed ingredients and about 10 minutes of your time. "You will likely not buy store-bought pizza sauce again."

Italian seasoning adds a variety of strong flavors

If you want to level up your homemade pizza with a rich and zesty tomato sauce, it's essential to season it perfectly. Start by combining a can of tomato sauce and a can of tomato paste in a saucepan — the pureed tomatoes add brightness, and the paste adds slow-cooked depth. Then the seasonings — the real star of the show — go in. You'll need two teaspoons of Italian seasoning, along with salt and pepper. This blend of dried herbs combines lots of pungent herbaceous flavors. Italian Seasoning consists of dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, and marjoram. Instead of tracking down five different herbs, this mixture of all of them achieves the perfect balance. If you want to add heat to the sauce, Carli advises, "I would recommend adding red chili flakes and a bit of cayenne pepper."

Simmer this sauce for 10 minutes, and take it off the heat. From there, you can spread it on your pizza dough for the perfect canvas to add your cheese and toppings. Carli says she rarely has leftover sauce, but if you do you can keep it in a jar for up to four days in the fridge. Carli added that this versatile sauce can be used in a wide variety of recipes. "I love this sauce on pizza or even English muffin pizzas. I also like it with mozzarella sticks."