Anyone remember those chips in the early ’90s, Pizzarias Pizza Chips from Keebler? Here is the commercial for them I found on youtube. I ate these things all the time when I was a kid. Something about the taste of these. They just tasted exactly like pizza, or I should say, what Americans think pizza should taste like. I’m not sure why these were taken off the market. Were they secretly made from asbestos? They were an incredible product and you can find many food related message boards with fans crying for Keebler to bring them back. Now that I’m vegan, they’d have to come back with a vegan version before I’d touch them and even then I wouldn’t eat them every week because they would go against my mostly whole food diet.
So with the memory of these chips and their “classic” pizza taste I set out to make a pizza sauce that would make me say, “Now that’s what pizza sauce should taste like!” During my experimentation, there were three things I discovered that make a great pizza sauce. Sugar is important to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce. The perfect ratio I found was 1 teaspoon of sugar for every 8oz. can of tomato sauce. Second was garlic and onion powder. Forget adding real onion or garlic. For a concentrated flavor, which I was looking for, there is no replacement for onion and garlic powder. Last and most important was what I didn’t add, basil. It is my opinion that for a pizza taste, basil AND oregano just doesn’t work together. Something about the two together cancel each other out and instead the sauce just wound up tasting like regular ol’ spaghetti sauce. Oregano has this wonderful brightness to it that just screams pizza. I also added a little marjoram, very similar to oregano, to help brighten it up even more, also very key.
Going back to the Pizzaria chips I wanted to give the sauce a slight pepperoni taste like I remember the chips had. To achieve that I added a pinch of smoked paprika and old bay seasoning. Pizza sauce perfection was achieved. If you don’t want a slight pepperoni-ish taste you can leave out the smoked paprika and old bay seasoning.
I recommend making up a batch of pizza dough, slap this sauce on it and sprinkle nothing more than some nutritional yeast flakes and almond flour on top and bake it up. Have it with a big salad! This sauce would also be great to dip bread sticks in. But if you are too lazy to make dough, just do what they suggest in this vintage Ragu Pizza Quick ad, just slap it on some bread and throw on some vegan cheeze!
Have I made you hungry for pizza yet!? Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! GO TO RECIPE >