Since discovering this recipe on AllRecipes, I have made this pizza sauce almost every single week and our consumption of commercially-made pizza has gone down significantly. On my first few attempts at making Exquisite Pizza Sauce, I deliberately omitted several ingredients: onion powder because I do not care for the taste of powdered onion (but have added finely chopped onion when I have it on hand) and anchovy paste because Devin will only eat seafood if it has been fried or if it is tuna from a can, and even then is seafood a last resort for him.
At this point, I think Devin will realize what I have been doing with that suspicious tube of anchovy paste in the fridge these past couple of weeks, SURPRISE! Yes, it is true that I finally started to add the requisite anchovy paste to this sauce, as directed on the recipe. When I omitted the anchovy paste, my tongue would start watering immediately upon tasting the sauce on its own because it was so sour. It's true that after allowing the sauce to rest and then baking it, the sourness toned down, but it was still off. I took the plunge in investing in a tube of anchovy paste when I happened upon it at the grocery store. I wasn't going to seek it out if I knew Devin would be strongly against it, yet there it was beckoning to me. Admittedly, anchovy paste from a tube sounds pretty gross (meat in solid form should not be mushed into a paste before it enters your mouth), it is an unappetizing shade of dark grey with tiny lumps of black, and it smells like it should, which is not to say it smells particularly pleasant. But it does wonders for the exquisite pizza sauce, mellowing out the sour tones and giving it richness. And come on, the recipe only needs 1 teaspoon, that hardly qualifies as ingesting fish. The 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste does wonders!
So what do I do with this Exquisite Pizza Sauce? Make pizza, of course! I know I fail as a true cook by using refrigerated pizza dough, but give me a break, I come home after 8 hours of work and have an hour to make and eat dinner before I am due in class. Making the pizza sauce the night before not only saves time when I actually assemble the pizza, but it allows the herbs and spices to fully flavor the tomato paste. With the pizza sauce prepared the night before and using refrigerated pizza dough, assembly and baking only takes a total of about 20 minutes. It is quicker, cheaper, and more delicious than ordering pizza for delivery. Additionally, adhering to the measurements as indicated on the Exquisite Pizza Sauce recipe provides the two of us with enough sauce for two pizzas using the refrigerated pizza dough. Quick, easy pizza two times a week? Yes, please!
Sometimes when we have string cheese in the refrigerator, I assemble the pizzas as cheese stuffed, pushing out the edges of the refrigerated pizza dough and inserting the sliced string cheese.
After flattening the edges of the pizza dough and placing the quartered string cheese along the edge, I simply roll the edges of the dough over the cheese and seal the cheese in by pressing the crust into the body of the pizza dough.
Devin doesn't like pizza that is heavy on the pizza sauce (this particular pizza looks a bit over-sauced), so one batch of Exquisite Pizza Sauce usually makes two pizzas with some sauce left over (good for dipping the crusts).
For the past couple of months, I have really been enjoying green bell peppers on my pizza. Even though Devin is an omnivore, we rarely have meat in the apartment (other than lunch meat), so when I make pizza, he often has a simple cheese pizza (maybe this is the reason he likes to go out to eat so often...).
A drizzle of olive oil along the crust and a bit over the cheese, twelve minutes in the oven, and it's done! This picture makes me crave pizza right now. Good thing I have some Exquisite Pizza Sauce in the freezer right now!