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I figured fresh tomatoes would be the best choice for making a tasty pizza sauce, so I bought like 8 kg of fresh Roma tomatoes as I found a good price opportunity, to make jars. I already made a try a few months ago and it was a disaster, way too watery, but this time I planned on either draining tomatoes or removing seeds and gel/pulp before cooking them.

However now I'm starting to wonder if it's worth wasting my time again. Indeed reading more on the web it seems that canned tomatoes are much more suitable for a tasty pizza sauce than fresh tomatoes. Add to that that I'm not sure how mature the tomatoes are and should be and that in any case I'm not going to keep the fire below the pan for 5 hours or more, and the following question seriously pops up : is it really worth my time ?

Keep in mind that we're talking of home-made pizzas, I don't own a wood-fired oven myself, mine goes only up to 250 °C, so arguments for professional pizzas baked in 2 minutes may not apply.

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If they were fresh roma tomatoes from an average American grocery store, they may not really be that flavorful anyway. –  Jefromi Oct 17 '13 at 2:39
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Well, they were "fresh" roma tomatoes from an average European supermarket, and we're in October, so I guess your comment applies. –  Skippy le Grand Gourou Oct 17 '13 at 16:42
    
Your "fresh" tomatoes were probably harvested unripe and then forced to ripen with ethylene gas, which causes them to turn red but doesn't develop flavor. Good quality canned tomatoes would have actually been harvested ripe and then canned promptly. It's likely that good canned tomatoes are "fresher" than the fresh tomatoes you used. –  sourd'oh Dec 30 '13 at 20:41
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3 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

No, it's not worth the bother. Get a few cans of crushed tomatoes and simmer them slowly with whole garlic cloves and some chopped onion for a few hours until it's thickened (but not like paste). Season and you're good to go.

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You could even buy strained tomatoes which is quick to prepare without sacrificing much taste. At least in my experience. –  Anpan Oct 14 '13 at 19:07
    
I don't think I will ever let gaz being burnt for ages except maybe for very specific dishes. I'd rather use this kind of trick to optimize the process. That being said, I'll accept your statement that "it's not worth the bother", with which it seems people tend to agree. –  Skippy le Grand Gourou Oct 17 '13 at 16:50
    
@SkippyleGrandGourou the trick you linked to still involves a long cooking time. –  sourd'oh Dec 30 '13 at 20:43
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I like using fresh tomatoes, and I just put them in the oven (with basil and thyme, and blend them with garlic) to dry them out a little while making the dough. I've never tried it with canned tomatoes, so I'm not sure if there's any difference in taste, but you can definitely make it work. As a plus, once you've blended/strained them, you can make a tomato-based soup with the leftovers!

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Nice suggestion, I'll definitely try that when the tomato season is back, but with smaller quantities. –  Skippy le Grand Gourou Oct 17 '13 at 16:41
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It's worth to bother! :)

Fresh tomatoes are the WOW factor in my home made pizzas, I also store it for the winter and make huge amounts in the summer. Experiment with seasoning and make sure you reduce the sauce well to avoid watery pizzas.

The important thing is also to buy good fresh tomatoes, there are plenty bland ones in the market, in which case the canned might make more sense.

If you go with canned, go with Italian San Marzano with a DOP label.

UPDATE:

There are also differences between San Marzano DOP brands. I just discovered one that is so amazing, even fresh ones have to be really good to beat them. Unfortunately due to Stack rules I can't post the brand.

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