Sauce makes or breaks a pizza!
There are few greater culinary tragedies than a beautifully made pizza with a stunning selection of toppings and a poorly made sauce. The sauce, red, always red, is the one great unifying force of a pizza.
Not assertive enough and the unctuous cheese simply takes over leveling the peaks of the topping’s flavors. Too assertive and the few millimeters of sauce simply take over ensuring that you taste nothing but.
It is a delicate balance. It should not be too acidic nor too sweet, and should be just spicy enough to make your tongue tingle.
It’s a tough job for so thinly spread a condiment.
Think about it.
On your average pizza the lion’s share of the pie goes to the crust, unless you get the ultra thing cracker crust which isn’t worth mentioning. The second largest portion is the cheese and toppings. The sauce gets… if you are very lucky, a few measly millimeters, leaving no room what so ever for weak flavors.
Assertive, acidic, and bold is the best way to describe a good sauce. You should be able to immediately taste the herbs and garlic. Not so much that you taste nothing else except sauce but the flavor should cut right through the gooey toppings and announce itself promptly to your tongue. It’s only polite.
With so little room to space, a good pizza sauce calls for dried herbs. That’s right. Dried. Not fresh. Fresh herbs simply don’t have the flavor punch that a sauce needs. And even worse fresh herbs add water.
Water is the enemy of a good sauce.
A good sauce condenses as it cooks grabbing on to the cheese and binding it to the crust. A watery sauce on the other hand turns the crust into a tiny cheese water park instantly becoming the cheeses favorite ride right off the edge of the crust. And the cheese, generous as it is will take all the toppings with it. Right to the floor of your oven where it will promptly meld with the metal and burn. Loudly… well as loud as a smell can be anyway.
Luckily with those two piece of vital information under your belt, pizza sauce is not that hard to make and with a well stocked pantry can be had in under 10 minutes, though like most things with herbs is far better the next day.
I often make a batch of sauce and either freeze it in individual Ziploc bags or refrigerate it. It keeps for at least a week or two. Of course I probably put more garlic in it then is seemly which pretty much kills any bug that comes within twenty feet of the jar.
And making your own pizza sauce sounds impressive. Admit it.
“Hey June, what did you do this weekend?”
“Well, Bob, I made pizza sauce!”
“June, you’re a domestic Goddess.”
Ok maybe not. But it is one of those things that people never expect to be as easy as it is they think that you have to get it in a can. But believe me, after you make your own you won’t ever want to.
As an aside, this recipe is similar to but not identically to the one that my mother used when she owned her restaurant. I have added a couple of spices and substituted fresh garlic for dried. I have, for your convenience scaled down the recipe. For gallons of sauce is a bit much for one batch. This recipe does however multiply very well.
Screw the crust! On to the sauce!
Quick Pizza Sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes 
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 generous teaspoon each: dried oregano  and basil
½ teaspoon each: dried thyme and sage
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
½ scant teaspoon salt or to taste 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Rub the herbs between your hands, crushing them finely. Mix together in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Mix into the sauce along with the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust salt as necessary.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze for up to three months.
 Crushed tomatoes should not be too watery, the finished sauce should have the consistency of slightly thick pancake batter, poreable but not gloopy. If your tomatoes are too watery, drain them and reserve the liquid. If you have drained a lot of water, you might need to use two cans.
 I prefer Mexican oregano not Greek, but either will work.
 I like to start out with a ¼ teaspoon of salt and adjust. Removing salt is pretty hard.