Florida Key’s Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade pizza sauce ingredients

Today Kev is making garden-fresh pizza sauce from eatingwell.com with Florida Keys own Bone Lee’s Gourmet Hot Sauce. This pizza sauce is super tasty on Handmade Garlic Bread  Pizza Dough which we made in an earlier post.


This recipe for garden-fresh pizza sauce makes a batch large enough to top several pizzas. You can make it right now with fresh tomatoes, but if you have a bumper crop or just want to buy a lot of in-season tomatoes and put them up for another day, canning is not your only option: try freezing them. Just remove the cores and freeze them whole. Then, turn your frozen tomatoes into pizza sauce any time of the year.

What you will need:

  • 5 pounds cored whole tomatoes, fresh or frozen  (we used 3 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 or more tablespoons of Bone Lees (we used 2 tablespoons for a mild sweet hot taste)

If using fresh tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a circle around the core,on top of each tomato,and gently place into the boiling water.

NOTE: We use cast iron and there is much fuss over tomatoes in cast iron. We have done it this way for years. We find that if you clean the cast iron as soon as the Tomatoes are cook or the sauce is done we are fine.  If you use cast iron for this then follow what practice is best for you.


Leave in the boiling water until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

In the video you can see the skins splitting and peeling. Using a slotted spoon remove the peeling ones and then place them into a bowl of ice water – for a minute of so.


Peel with a paring knife around  the cut, or use a apple corer – if the tomatoes are not to soft.



If using frozen tomatoes, run each under warm water and peel or rub the skin off. Thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave until mostly thawed. Chop the tomatoes, reserving any juice.

While we waiting for the water to boil we start prepping and cooking the rest of the ingredients for the dutch oven.


Above we have the spices blended, the garlic finely chopped, and the onion chopped.

Heat Olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring until beginning to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.


Cooking the onions, boiling tomatoes, and ice cooling the tomatoes.

After the tomatoes are chopped add them and any juice,  add basil, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar (if using).


Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened to the consistency of pizza sauce, about 2 hours. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or sugar.


Enjoy, take a rest while waiting for the sauce to simmer.

After 2 hours transfer the sauce to a blender, add tomato paste and blend until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)


When blended brush on pizza dough, pour remaining sauce into a jar with lid and store until needed again, like on breakfast eggs.

Remember this is not  store bought sauce, there is nothing in this sauce to preserve it. This sauce will go bad in about two weeks or maybe less.


Handmade Garlic Bread  Pizza Dough

Thanks for joining us at Kev’s Key Largo Living.

Come back soon and look for Kev’s post on his Homemade Barbecue Sauce.


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