When I made my Pizza Night at the Lemon's post and video I mentioned I would share my red sauce (aka "pizza" sauce) recipe shortly thereafter. Well, here it is! This recipe came about due to the difficulties my wife and I had finding a good pizza sauce for our pizza. Prior to this recipe we also never ate pasta, for similar reasons. It seemed like whenever we found a good sauce we would snatch up as much as the grocery store had and then it would disappear after that, leaving us to experiment and find a different brand. Finally we were doing a stint with Blue Apron and came across a Calzone recipe that had a rather delightful sauce to it. Blue Apron ships their seasoning packets already measured so we didn't know the composition other than the unknown aleppo pepper and italian seasoning (typically oregano, basil and rosemary). So we set out to reproduce this sauce, along with some modifications and came up with what follows. This is our red sauce, we use it for pizza, spaghetti and any other pasta dish we put together. The batch here is more then you need for pizza night, so you can either save the extra for next week or freeze it if you like, we've done both! Enjoy!


  • 1lb 12oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
  • 8 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

If you don't have aleppo pepper that's ok, just skip it, but consider ordering some for your spice cabinet.



Begin with a medium sized pot, like 2.5 Quarts, pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into it, or enough to provide nice coverage over the bottom of the hot. Heat on medium. You'll know when the oil is hot enough because if you flick a drop of water at it, it will pop.

One the oil is hot take 8 cloves of freshly minced garlic and place into the oil. If you do not have fresh garlic you can use pre-minced garlic, and figure about two heaping teaspoons.

Let the garlic fry up for about about a minute or just until it turns golden brown. Make sure you're constantly stirring it around while it fries.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of aleppo pepper, 1 teaspoon dry oregano and 1 teaspoon dry basil into the hot oil and fried garlic, stirring in continuously for about 30 seconds or when the oregano and basil begin to toast.

Add 1lb 12oz of crushed tomatoes (1 big can) to the hot oil, fried garlic and spices slowly so that it doesn't splatter back at you, stirring vigorously. Add 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and optionally a dash of cayenne pepper, and a 1/4 teaspoon of ground fennel. Stir continuously for about 4 minutes, or until the sauce has been heated through. You'll know it's heated when the sauce begins to pop.

Remove from heat and let it cool before applying to a pizza, or if serving with Pasta apply immediately. You can smooth the sauce out with an immersion blender, which might be desirable for certain dishes.

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