Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kal's Little Caesars' Sauce Clone Recipe

(Originally posted here, this is slightly edited.)

I've had several people ask me if I make my own sauce or if I use store bought, so I thought that would be a good post. I used to buy pre-made sauce - Ragu Homemade Style Pizza Sauce - and then add some italian seasoning at the time of pizza assembly.  For all of you who make your pizza at home but don't make your own sauce: don't use spaghetti sauce. Do yourself and everyone eating your pizza a favor. It's not the same. Use the Ragu Homemade Style (usually on the top shelf above the spaghetti sauce). Or, check out the sauce I use.

Kal's Little Caesars' Sauce
18oz can Tomato Paste
2 1/4 cups water
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

This is a variation of a reverse-engineered recipe for Little Caesar's sauce. You can find the "original" copycat recipe on (link).

Instead of using the mentioned method of cooking the sauce, my sauce is cold-fused, with the flavor of the dried spices being helped along with what's called Microwave Assisted Extraction. Before mixing all of the ingredients together, I place the oregano, basil, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small pyrex cup, with just enough water so that everything is wet.  Then I stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes on 30% power.  When that's done, the kitchen smells magnificent.  Then I mix the spices in with the tomato paste, water, sugar, and salt.

For more on the idea of Microwave Assisted Extraction, check this link, again on This takes you right to one of the replies, but the whole post is pretty informative on the topic of cooked vs uncooked sauce. Warning: extreme pizza geekery lies ahead. Proceed with caution.

After it's mixed up, I pour it into a mason jar I picked up from Ikea. I actually scaled it up by one half as you'll notice from the original recipe, because it will fit perfectly into the jar. Stick it in the fridge and use it within a couple weeks. Try to make it a few days before you plan to use it, because it gets better with age. The first day or two after it's good, but give it 3-5 days and it's even better.


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