Salsa Pizzaiola

The name means "in the style of the pizza maker's wife." It is used on all types of meat, seafood, fowl and vegetables in southern Italy. Its most famous use is as a pizza sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups canned Italian tomatoes, not drained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Cook the onions until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their liquid along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and breaking the tomatoes into small pieces with a wooden spoon. The sauce should be thick and smooth, and may be pressed through a strainer or processed in a food processor to the desired consistency if necessary.

Makes about 3 cups.