This is the sauce that prompted the exclamation "This is the best pizza I've ever had in my life!"
I did a double take as I continued to cut slices for the collection of kids at the table. Maybe the words did come from my 11-year-old son's friend --and maybe earlier he'd said that a cat video he was watching on YouTube was the 'funniest thing he'd ever seen in his life'--but even with his tendency for hyperbole, I could tell this sweet young man was sincere. Almost out of earshot, I heard my son say "I know, man, my mom makes the best pizza ever." I chuckled at their enthusiasm, but I felt happy and vindicated. I felt like all the efforts I've ever made to bring whole foods into the house and rely less on junk were worth it.
Homemade pizza has become a simple staple for us (soon I'll share our quick crust recipe, too), but in the back of my mind I often think how much easier it would be to pop a few of those little, inexpensive 'totino's' type pizzas into the oven instead. We used to get them all the time, and they were so easy. So easy to make, so easy to eat, so dang tasty. What I didn't like about those cheap and easy little pizzas was the ingredient list on them. I admit, I still occasionally buy pizza rolls, but that is rarely. I can honestly say we've almost exclusively replaced cheap and easy frozen pizza with almost-as-cheap, almost-as-easy homemade pizza. It has become a once-a-month or more kitchen ritual that the family appreciates and loves, especially when I make everyone get involved.
Find a sauce and crust you love, and you'll be set to start your own pizza-making ritual. We have become very experimental and creative with the toppings (during prime garden harvest season, anything goes!), and many of our homemade pizzas don't have a tomato-based sauce at all. A basic tomato sauce and cheese pizza, however, seems to be required when a bunch of kids show up at the table!
This is a NO RECIPE because it is so easy to memorize--everything starts with the number one. Keep small cans of tomato paste on hand and you'll always be ready for homemade pizza...perhaps the best pizza you've ever had in your life! ;)
*We use organic tomato paste, which can be found in most grocery stores. We stock up on it at Costco.
No Recipe Pizza Sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 can water
1 T. olive oil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1 t. garlic powder
(optional) sprinkle or two of red pepper flakes
Mix. That's it. It is usually just the right thickness for us, but if you like it thinner, add a little more water. Flavors intensify nicely if you let it sit for while, but it's just fine if you use it immediately--which is usually when we end up using it because we are very spontaneous kitchen people.