An easy homemade pizza sauce recipe using fresh tomatoes. This is a great way to use up some of your summer garden tomato haul and can work with any variety of tomatoes including plum (Roma) tomatoes, heirloom or vine tomatoes. This recipe is made in a small batch, enough to cover 2 pizzas.
My love of tomato sauce making doesn’t end at pasta! This fresh tomato pizza sauce is a great way to use up a couple of large garden tomatoes, turning them into a juicy rich sauce for pizza. The sauce cooks pretty fast for a fresh tomato sauce. By using a wide bottomed pan, and making a small amount, we can get it to cook down really quickly. It’s thickened up and ready to spread on your pizza base in just half an hour! Go ahead and use it while it’s still chunky (the easy option!) or take the time to puree it (for a more traditional result).
This sauce is perfect for thin crust Napoli margherita style pizzas, alongside fresh mozzarella and lots of fresh basil to allow the tomato flavor to shine. You can also use a thick layer of it in a deep dish recipe if you wish, but if you do this, consider adding some extra herbs and chili flakes to make it punchier.
The best tomatoes for this pizza sauce recipe
Plum tomatoes, including Roma tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes, are king when it comes to sauce making. Thanks to their low water content they give you a more “flesh” than other types of tomato, meaning you only need 2-3 tomatoes to make this batch of sauce. Minimal peeling and de-seeding effort required!
BUT your starting point may be a batch of another kind of tomatoes, and that’s OK too. Sometimes you just need to use what you’ve got!
You can make this sauce with ANY large tomatoes! If yours are on the more watery side you may need to use more than the stated amount.
You can hack this recipe to work with other tomatoes by sense checking the weight of your yield AFTER you peel and de-seed them. Here is the math you need:
- I’ve started this recipe with two large plum tomatoes weighing 500 grams (1.1 pounds).
- Once peeled and de-seeded, they weighed 410 grams (14.5 oz) so that is what you want to get close to. Though don’t stress if it’s not an exact match. You can give or take a little here.
Even after adjusting the weights, your final sauce might vary a little, but it’s OK! This sauce is pretty robust and flexible, and if you taste as you go, you can make any necessary adjustments.
The best pan for a quick and easy pizza sauce
For fast results, we want the tomatoes to cook in a shallow layer so a wide, deep saute pan is optimal. The pan I used in my photos was a 26cm enamelled cast iron dish – you can go bigger, but don’t go any smaller than this.
You also ideally want to use a non reactive material (enamelled cast iron, stainless steel or nonstick) rather than a reactive one (aluminum, copper or non-enamel cast iron) to avoid a metallic taste seeping into the tomatoes.
More Ideas for Your Fresh Summer Tomatoes
Fresh Tomato Pizza Sauce
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 500 g (1.1 lb) large fresh tomatoes, see notes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- 3 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- 1 pinch chili flakes, optional
- Score the tomatoes: lightly cut an X shape through the skin of each tomato and place in a pan or bowl with boiling water. Let them soak in the boiling water for just a couple of minutes before removing and placing on a chopping board.500 g large fresh tomatoes
- The skins should peel easily away from the X where they were cut. Discard the skins, then slice the tomatoes into halves and remove the seedy membranes and the tough core.
- You should now just be left with the tomato flesh, though it's OK if some rogue seeds are still hanging around. Chop roughly and add to a bowl.
- Heat a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in your saute pan, then add the garlic. Allow to sizzle on a low heat until soft and fragrant, then add the oregano and chili flakes and allow to cook for just a few seconds.2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1 pinch chili flakes
- Pour in the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir through and bring to a gentle simmer. You want them bubbling away just enough to cook and break down, but not so much that they splatter tomato juice everywhere! Use a wooden spoon or even a potato masher to encourage the tomatoes to break apart. Allow to simmer like this for up to 30 minutes.1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Once the tomatoes have reduced and the sauce seems thick, give them a taste test and adjust the seasonings as needed. Assess the texture – if you'd like it a little richer, pour in some more olive oil and simmer for another 5 minutes. Once you're happy, add in the fresh basil and mix through until wilted.3 leaves fresh basil
- Spread the sauce over pizza, or store in the fridge for up to a few days until you're ready to use it.