Easy-Peasy Pizza Sauce

I admit it.  I’m a bit of a Drive-Thru Sue.  I love convenience. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a bit of Farm Fresh Tess and Whole Grain Jane in me too, but when life gets busy, I want things that are quick and easy.  This doesn’t mean that I literally resort to the drive-thru all the time, but rather that I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to eat better without a lot of time and effort.

One convenience food that I used to buy a lot of was spaghetti sauce. It was so easy to just toss some whole wheat pasta into boiling water and pour on some jarred sauce.  But the more I read labels, the less likely I am to buy jarred sauce. See, I’m becoming more and more aware of the hidden sugars in practically everything. This is especially true since I am discovering that apparently Tigger is super-sensitive to sugar, to the extent that even a small amount often leads to a major melt-down later.  Plus, as a Trim Healthy Mama, I’m attempting to eliminate sugar as much as possible. I’ve only rarely found jarred sauce without added sugar – here’s one that Ragu makes that I have found at Walmart:

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The problem with this one is that I can only find it at some (but not all) Walmarts, and I really don’t shop at Walmart too often anyway. Since I can’t find it at the grocery stores I shop at most often, it’s pretty inconvenient to go looking for it. So what’s a girl to do when she wants a quick fix as a topping for pizza or Dreamfields noodles?  Well, make her own, of course! This is an easy and tasty recipe that should make me claim that I will NEVER buy that jar of Ragu again, but I’m too much of a realist for that; I know I’ll grab the jar for convenience on occasion. But this super-easy recipe has become even quicker and easier than finding that jar of Ragu, so it’s a great go-to for me right now.

Easy-Peasy Pizza Sauce

1 large (29 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (12 oz) can of tomato paste
Italian seasoning (or fresh herbs if you’ve got them!)
Stevia (or your sweetener of choice)

First, open your cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste, and dump them into a pan on the stove. Feel free to use a little water to rinse them and add it to the pot.

IMG_20130706_124541See my Kroger Manager’s Special sticker on that can? That helps make this sauce super-economical as well as quick and easy! To the tomato sauce/paste mix, add your Italian seasonings to taste.  I often also add garlic and onion powder, but that’s up to you. Then you need to add your key ingredient – Stevia!

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This is why all those sauces have added sugar in them – just a bit of sweetness cuts the bitter edge of the tomatoes and makes a smooth finish. Because my extract is so concentrated, I can’t really give a measurement – I just sprinkle in a bit, mix it in, and taste it to see if I like it. Then I let the sauce simmer away until it reaches the consistency that I want. And then taste again, and add more stevia if I need to.

You could add really anything here that you want in your sauce – fresh garlic? basil leaves? diced tomatoes? whatever you want, toss it on in there – this is a very forgiving sauce so feel free to experiment!

When it’s done, one of my favorite ways to serve it is on top of a Fooled-Ya pizza crust. Just spread it on like this…

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Then add your toppings, and after baking you get a luscious pizza like this:

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I use the same sauce for pasta, but I often doctor it up a bit with something like a mix of sauteed peppers and onions. My kids don’t really like that, though, so that yumminess is all for me and P-Daddy!

IMG_0575By the way, you could use smaller cans of tomato sauce and paste, but I love making a big batch and freezing part for later.  My favorite way to do that is in ziploc bags.

IMG_20130723_184715Just press the air out before sealing, lay them flat in your freezer, and they are easy to pull out while maximizing space in your freezer (and if yours is anything like mine, you NEED to maximize space in there!).

This sauce is versatile and can be used in all kinds of THM meals. Use it on Fooled-Ya pizza crust with cheese and pepperoni (or whatever toppings you want) for a luscious S.  Or serve it on a low-carb tortilla with lean meat and a tiny sprinkle of cheese for a delicious FP meal.  You could even serve it on an E pizza crust like Gwen’s refrigerator bread with limited cheese and E-friendly toppings for an incredible E pizza. You really can’t go wrong with this sauce!

I’m linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday over at Gwen’s Nest and Stacy Makes Cents.  Come on over and check out all the other delicious THM treats to be found!

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