Saturday, August 18, 2012

Naked Tomato Sauce and Boardwalk Pizza

Naked Tomato Sauce?  Boardwalk Pizza?  Huh?

This week's theme on the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange hosted by Gimme Some Oven, Bake Your Day, and Recipes for Change is pizza!  We are super excited because the give-away this week is an incredible Premium Pizza Making Kit from Pizza Home Chef.  (cross your fingers that we win!!!)  We are also super excited because pizza happens to be one of The Spatularettes' all time favorite foods!

So back to the questions... what is naked tomato sauce?  And what is boardwalk pizza?

The tomatoes are so sweet and flavorful and ripe this time of year, that I wanted to make a sauce with as few additional ingredients as possible.  I wanted to strip it down and let all that natural fresh tomato goodness shine through.  Hence the word naked.

Boardwalk pizza on the other hand is a relatively new concept to me.  Where I am from, pizza is pretty much pizza and it almost always comes for a chain.  In Philly though, pizza is a subculture in itself.  There are so many little local joints that specialize in a zillion different styles of pies.  One of my favorite styles is found in the pizza shops down the shore.  Hence the word boardwalk.  They are sort of like an upside-down cheese pizza.  Instead of spreading the sauce first, the cheese is actually sprinkled directly on the dough and the sauce is swirled on top before baking.  They also serve this pizza at Small One and my favorite late night eatery in Philadelphia, where we fondly named it "stripey pizza" for the appearance of stripes of sauce and cheese on the individual slices.  It doesn't matter if you call it boardwalk or stripey, we promise you will call it delicious!


-2 1/2 - 3 lbs fresh, ripe tomatoes (I used a mixture of Roma and Beefsteak)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 Tbs olive oil
-1 - 2 tsp salt

-Pizza dough
-1/2 cup pizza sauce
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

To make the sauce, you'll need to start by skinning and seeding the tomatoes.  The best way to skin a tomato is to boil it for a few seconds.  Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.  Meanwhile, use a knife to slice a small "X" into the bottom of each tomato.  When the water is boiling, add the tomatoes, submerging them completely.  Allow them to float around for about 30 seconds and then remove them with a slotted spoon.  The skin should already be peeling off and you can pull the rest off with your fingers.  Let the tomatoes cool until they are easy to handle.  Cut them into quarters and use your fingers to remove and dispose of the seeds and excess juices inside.

Heat the Tbs of olive oil over medium heat in a large pan on the stove top.  Add the minced garlic and cook it for a minute or two before adding all of the tomatoes.  Let everything cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.  Cover the pan and continue to let the tomatoes cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.  Every 10 minutes, remove the lid and try to break the tomatoes up a little bit with the wooden spoon.  They will slowly soften and start to break down.  After a half hour, transfer the tomatoes to a food processor fit with a steel blade.  Pulse the sauce until almost smooth, but still the slightest bit chunky.  Pour the sauce back into the pan and continue to cook, uncovered for another 15 minutes, allowing it to thicken up a bit more.  And that, my friends, is Naked Tomato Sauce.

To make Boardwalk Pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Start with your favorite store bought or homemade pizza dough.  We like this one from Smitten Kitchen.  Sprinkle some cornmeal on your baking pan to avoid sticking then roll out the dough nice and flat and top it with 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Fill a pastry piping bag with pizza sauce and snip off the tip.  Carefully swirl the sauce over the cheese making a spiral pattern on your pizza.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until the bottom is crispy and the cheese is melted.

Tomato Love and Pizza Love.  This is a good week!!

Tall One

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