One of the perks to making your own pizza at home is that you can experiment with many sauces and toppings. You might love the sauce at your local pizzeria, but it's certainly fun to try something different every now and then. This roasted red pepper sauce really hits the spot. Packed with healthy vegetables, it combines classic Italian flavors of basil, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and garlic, to make a homemade creation you'll be proud to spread on your pizzas.
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons onion, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- Slice the red pepper in quarters, and remove the seeds. Also cut out and discard the stem.
- Brush the pepper slices with olive oil on all sides. Place them on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Check the pepper periodically. It should get brown and crispy on the outside, but not burn. Turn it over halfway through cooking.
- Remove the pepper from the oven, and let it cool slightly before cutting it into chunks.
- Combine the pepper and all of the other ingredients, except for the fresh basil, in a medium saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. The tomato sauce will splatter if you stop stirring it while it's simmering.
- Continue simmering the sauce for about 15 minutes, or until the onions are tender.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, and use an immersion blender to puree it until it comes together into a smooth sauce. You can leave some larger chunks in your sauce if you like, but pizza sauces are traditionally pretty smooth.
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- Stir in the fresh basil, and use the sauce as desired.
This sauce is delicious when used immediately. One recipe makes enough to top two 14-inch round pizzas, 4 to 5 personal-size pizzas, or a large sheet pizza. If you're only making one pizza, store the remaining sauce in a jar in the freezer. It should stay fresh for several months. Take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the day before you plan to use it, and you'll be good to go. If you like a spicier sauce, you can add a jalapeno pepper along with the red bell pepper.