Homemade Red Sauce for Pizza

redsauce5 768x1024 Homemade Red Sauce for Pizza

Bonjour mes amours!  I had the opportunity to make and deliver pizza to a friend this week, who had recently undergone surgery and was housebound.

Last week, I shared a recipe for homemade pizza dough that I learned in my cooking class at the Kitchen Studio Cooking School.  Chef Chris also gave us a recipe for homemade red sauce in that class, which I used for this Margherita pizza.  My caveat, though, is to take a class over there to witness a trained professional make this recipe, ask questions, and get feedback on your own process.  It’s a completely personalized and empowering experience and you will undoubtedly gain inspiration to infuse into your daily routine.

Ingredients for Homemade Red Sauce for Pizza:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 cup onion (minced), 1 tsp sugar, 1 garlic clove (minced), 15 oz. tomato sauce, 1/4 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp crushed fennel seeds, salt/pepper to taste

redsauce1 1024x680 Homemade Red Sauce for PizzaDirections:

  • Sautee onions in olive olive and add sugar.  Lower heat and cook onions in the sugar for 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  • Lower heat and add tomato sauce, dried herbs, and fennel and cook uncovered until thick about 15 minutes.
  • Season with S/P to taste.


As you know, I cook my pizzas on an overturned cookie sheet.  (Before I bought this or this, I wanted to make sure that I was actually going to be making pizzas and that the recipes from the pizza class were not going to make their way to my shelf of recipe books that are rarely, if ever, visited.)  So this is what I used to deliver the pizza to my friend, giving her instructions to heat her oven to the highest setting, bake for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, and add the basil after the pizza comes out.

To keep the basil fresh, I put it in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel.

If all else fails and you find yourself making a pizza for delivery to a friend, include a decadent dessert in the bag.  My little note on the cake said, “Chocolate Cake (in case pizza didn’t work out).”


Happy eating!


PS–For a vegan version of this recipe, replace mozarella with vegan or nut cheese!

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January 15, 2014 - 3:24 pm

Diana Foree - Jessica, I love your red sauce for pizza. I tell my husband all the time that when you order a pizza they never put enough sauce on it…too much cheese and not enough red stuff! lol Thanks for sharing both the red sauce and the pizza dough.

January 15, 2014 - 3:33 pm

Terri Lind Davis - My husband is a real pizza connoisseur. I’ll have to try this recipe for him. Sounds so fresh and good!

January 15, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Shari - This sounds delicious! I really like the addition of the crushed fennel seed.

January 15, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Shari - This sounds delicious and so much healthier than store bought sauce – can’t wait to try it.

January 15, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Roz - Have never made my own pizza and have made marinara sauce, but I have a friend who is addicted to pizza and does like to try her own. I passed this on to her. Love your photos as they make me want a slice NOW.

January 15, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Martha Giffen - Looks good! I have never attempted to make a pizza, much less the sauce. Your presentation is really nice!

January 15, 2014 - 5:45 pm

Kungphoo - Big fan of homemade pizza and sauce… My wife is excellent at making this!

January 15, 2014 - 7:16 pm

A. Lynn Jesus - That pizza looks so good! I never thought of cooking the onion with the sugar – very interesting. I am going to look up your dough recipe and make some pizza this week! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I love getting ideas from recipes!

January 15, 2014 - 10:35 pm

Lisa Hodges - I grew up with my mom simmering homemade sauce. Thank you for sharing this!

January 15, 2014 - 10:36 pm

Marjory Johnson - Sounds delicious and super easy too…can’t wait to try it!

January 16, 2014 - 12:42 am

Veronica - Your pizza looks amazing! I should take up a raw vegan food prep class. I need some variety

January 16, 2014 - 1:16 am

Veronica - Thanks for sharing the recipe

January 16, 2014 - 1:25 am

Sue - The pizza looks very yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I am going to try it!

January 16, 2014 - 2:13 am

Dov Shapira - Pizza is always a winner anywhere you go.
I love the images and the tips !!

January 16, 2014 - 2:55 am

Nate - Wow, looks yummy! Now, I’m hungry! Lol.

January 16, 2014 - 3:43 am

Marielle Altenor - Pizza looks amazing. I have never made my own pizza sauce before. I would forgive bad pizza for some yummy cake =))

January 16, 2014 - 4:28 am

Meli Horowitz - Oh yum!! I know where to go for pizza next time I’m in New York!!

January 16, 2014 - 6:12 am

Daniele Holmberg - OMG! This sounds awesome! Thanks for the recipe:) I will have to try this one. I also love all of your pictures!

January 16, 2014 - 2:40 pm

Irene - Wow this looks amazing. I love that you have a vegan alternative too. I will need to try this soon.

January 16, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Denise Pattton - Sounds delicious and so healthy and simple. x

January 16, 2014 - 8:33 pm

Lorii Abela - Everything looks so nice and fresh! I bet it tastes amazing too. Wish I could get food virtually too. Lol!

January 16, 2014 - 10:28 pm

Jackie de Boer - Oh my goodness, this sounds delicious and I am so hungry right about now :-)

January 17, 2014 - 1:47 am

Sharon O'Day - Love that you added fennel seeds to the tomato sauce! It will add amazing depth to the natural sweetness of tomatoes and basil. Yum!

January 19, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Pat Moon - What a delicious uplifting thing to do for your friend who just arrived home from having surgery…. that was so thoughtful, practical, and beautiful. I love pizza but my husband is somewhat lactose intolerant (the cheese bothers his digestive system) so it is a very special occasion when I get to have it. I’ll have to look at your dough recipe because I always have a problem with any thing that has yeast in it … it never rises and turns out like bricks. I believe my body chemistry fights with the yeast or something? It’s weird. Thanks for sharing.. it was a delightful and appetizing visit.

January 19, 2014 - 4:16 pm

WordPress.com Support - Thanks Pat! I agree, I try not to have yeast very often, but somehow it tastes and feels healthier in this recipe. There are so many cheese alternatives now–take a look at nut cheeses for some ideas. xx

January 20, 2014 - 3:45 pm

Norma Doiron @Savvy Biz Solutions - What a great gesture this is for your friend. Looks simply delicious too! :) Took note of your pizza sauce.

January 26, 2014 - 9:37 pm

Gilly - What a nice thing to do, your pizza looks wonderful! :)

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