I’m embarrassed to admit it, but in the past I’d always bought my pizza sauce in a jar. I had tried a couple of times to make a version at home, but it always tended to turn out a bit watery. A couple of weeks ago, the good people at Red Pack offered to send me an assortment of their products. While I love fresh tomatoes with all of my heart, a cook always needs a stash of good quality canned tomatoes in their pantry. I’ve long been a fan of Red Pack products, ever since Cook’s Illustrated named their canned whole tomatoes #1 in it’s category.  Needless to say, I was much obliged!

The first thing I made when my package arrived was this pizza sauce. It is definitely a winner! It only takes 5 minutes, and the flavor is unparalleled. I used a can of pureed tomatoes, which I think is the key. Before I had used diced tomatoes, and pureed them myself…which, is what I think what led to the water-logged sauce. Less water content from the “get go” is a good thing. I add a bit of chili pepper flakes to my sauce, as we like a little kick of heat. This makes enough for 2-3 large pizzas, depending on how saucy you like your pies. It’s also a great simple tomato sauce for something like meatballs.

Thanks to Red Pack, I have a lovely canned tomato assortment to pass along to one of my lucky readers! Who couldn’t use some staples for the winter months ahead? Read on for the fine print.

We blow through A LOT of tortillas in this house. Flour, whole wheat, corn – we love them all! I’ve heard stories of how much better fresh tortillas are, versus the ones you buy pre-packaged in the store. Big surprise there, right? Unfortunately, we don’t live anywhere in the vicinity of one of those big, fancy-pants grocery stores that sell tortillas made in house. I have found one brand that I adore, but it’s only available at our local restaurant supply store. However, they are HUGE. Like 14″ tortillas. Great for burritos, for everything else – not so much. Leave it to my homegirl Annie, to provide the inspiration to try my hand making them at home.

They turned out wonderful! The dough was a breeze to bring together in the food processor, and a dream to work with when rolling out. My rolling skills aren’t the best, so I was nervous about rolling something as thin as a tortilla. I had no problem whatsoever. Also, they were quick to make! From start to finish, it was about 40 minutes. Super easy! Next time I’ll probably do a double batch, and freeze half to have on hand. They are heartier, yet fluffier than the ones you buy at the mega mart. Not to mention the fact that they actually taste like something. They’re wonderful. Make these!

panpizza

Pizza made at home used to scare me. Aside from a grill, it’s hard to get a hot enough temperature in your oven to get a decent, crispy crust. After a few attempts, I lost all hope and gave up. A few months later I saw an episode of The Cooking Loft with Alex Guarnaschelli. She was executing a technique for pizza that I had never thought of. Frying the dough in a cast iron skillet before topping it. Then, finishing off the baking in an oven. Genius!

This pizza is great. So great in fact, we rarely order it out anymore (not that we have a slew of great pizza shops around here anyway). This recipe makes 2 12-inch pizzas.Top it with whatever you like. Unlike many pizza crusts, this one can take a beating. So, pile the toppings on. She can handle it, I promise!