Brier Hill Pizza Sauce

To Ernie DiRenzo, the dough doesn’t matter for Brier Hill pizza. “I feel all dough recipes are basically the same: Flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and warm water.” It’s the sauce that makes it. Here’s his mother’s recipe, with his disclaimer: “I never wrote it down. I’m going by memory, but it’s probably 90–95% accurate, if not 100%.”

Yields enough sauce for six 12-inch pizzas and one 8-inch pizza

  • 6 peppers (3 red and 3 green), cut-up
  • 3–5 garlic cloves, cut up
  • Two 29-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • One 29-ounce can tomato puree
  • 3–4 basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pour enough oil to cover the bottom of a pot, plus a little extra. Heat the oil. Add the garlic, but don’t let it burn. Add peppers, and cook until they’re a little soft. Add sauce and puree, then salt and pepper and basil. Water it down if it seems too thick, and let it cook for about an hour, simmering to a low boil. Some people add cheese to the sauce, although DiRenzo does not. Oregano and sugar are also optional sauce add-ins. Refrigerate the sauce overnight. Bring it to room temperature before spreading it on the pizza dough (removing the garlic and basil first). Add Romano cheese. Bake at 350–400° for 20–25 minutes.