Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homemade Pizza Sauce

My fall schedule is in full gear now.  Soccer practices, soccer games, leading and participating in Bible studies several times a week, and dance class.....just to name the highlights.  That doesn't count laundry, dishes, keeping my newly redecorated house spic-n-span, managing kids and homework.....but you get the idea.  I'm busy.

I know that you're busy, too.  I mean, seriously, who has loads of time just waiting to be spent?

I've known all summer long that my fall schedule was going to be packed.

And all summer long, the question of what I was going to do about dinnertime was rolling around in my head.  Crock pot meals, freezer meals, PB&J are all viable options.

I should have set about putting together a definitive plan and system.

But I didn't.

Until the other day when I decided that I would make a large pot of pizza sauce and portion it in 1/2 pint freezer containers.  Of course, along with that I made a double batch of pizza dough to put next to the sauce in the freezer.

Theoretically, homemade pizza is much faster to put together than waiting on the delivery person to bring one to the door.  Especially if the dough and the sauce are already made!  Toss some pepperoni, sprinkle some cheese, and voila!  A quick, weeknight meal!

That's the plan.  It's the only one I've got.  So, we're rolling with it.  Good thing my kiddos like pizza, I guess!

*My pictures are less-than-artistic looking, but I wanted to give you a visual idea of what you will end up with!  I ended up with 7 pints of sauce.

I'm sharing this recipe with the nice girls over at It's A Keeper Thursdays--come see what everyone else brought!

Homemade Pizza Sauce
A Karla Original

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, diced small
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, diced small
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 Tbl. sugar, optional, if sauce is overly tomato-y

In a large Dutch oven, drizzle olive oil to cover the bottom of pan.  Add onion and cook over medium heat until softened and transparent, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and quickly stir to incorporate into the onions.  Cook for about 1 minute, then quickly add both cans of crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes.  Stir.

Simmer over medium heat until fragrant and slightly thickened.  Whisk in the tomato paste and cook for a couple minutes longer.  Add basil and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir.  Do a quick taste test and add sugar if necessary.

Off heat and remove pan to a cooling rack.  Allow sauce to cool significantly before transferring it to  freezer containers.  I recommend using 1/2 pint or pint size containers.  Label containers with "pizza sauce" and the date and freeze until ready to use.

When ready to use, thaw to room temperature, then prepare pizza as normal!

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