Evan Moses

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15 Minute Pizza Sauce

15 Minute Pizza Sauce

Enough for 2 12-inch pizzas, 15 min

You can throw this together while the oven heats up, and it’s really quite tasty. I was turned on to the virtues of tomato passata by this article on Serious Eats and I keep a bottle or two around as a pantry staple. You could use crushed, canned tomatoes and puree them yourself but you’ll have to cook it a bit longer to reduce the extra liquid. I also keep a jar of crushed Calabrian chilis in the fridge. A little goes a long way, they’re much more flavorful than generic “red pepper flakes” from the spice aisle, and a jar lasts forever.

Finally a note on sugar: Depending on how sweet and how acidic your passata is, you may not need it. But taste the sauce when it’s done, and if you think it just needs a little something to brighten it up, add 1/8tsp sugar and see what it does. It can make a huge difference without making the sauce taste sweet.


  • ½ bottle (350g, 12oz) tomato passata
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed and halved if large
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • (Optional) red pepper flakes, or even better, crushed Calabrian chili to taste
  • (Optional) ⅛-¼tsp sugar


Heat the oil in a small saucepan or saucier on medium-low heat.

Add the garlic and fry lightly until fragrant and just beginning to show color, but not browned.

Add the oregano and black pepper and let bloom for 10-20s. Your kitchen will now smell wonderful.

Add the passata and stir to combine. Add chili or pepper flakes if using. Bring to a low simmer and lower heat until it’s bubbling a bit but not violently.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s reduced slightly and “saucy”. Add salt and pepper to taste, and sugar if it seems too acidic.

Fish out garlic cloves before you spread on pizza. Or don’t, they’re pretty yummy if you’re a garlic fiend.