While tomato sauce is the classic base for pizza, that doesn’t mean you can’t explore all the tasty options available to you. Next time you order pizza in Walnut Creek, see if any of these tomato sauce alternatives are on the menu and give them a try. If they aren’t for you, that’s alright, you’ll always have marinara.
1. All the pesto you can think of
When you think of pesto, you likely think first of basil pesto, and may even be surprised to learn there are other types of pesto. The word “pesto” comes from the method of creating this sauce – using a pestle to grind up a flavorful herb or green. So, many edible leaves and vegetables can become a pesto and be spread across a pizza crust. For example, there is kale pesto, mustard green pesto, arugula pesto, and even beet pesto. As a tomato sauce alternative on pizza, pesto goes great with mushrooms, sausage, or simply tomatoes and cheese.
2. Olive tapenade
Tapenade originated in France and is made of finely-chopped olives, capers, and anchovies. It makes for a rich, savory tomato sauce alternative and pairs well with light, fresh flavored toppings. Thinly-sliced zucchini and chopped basil would taste delicious atop a spread of tapenade. Try it the next time you order pizza in Walnut Creek.
3. Roasted pepper spread
Cultures across the globe enjoy some variation of this sauce, which is generally made up of roasted peppers, garlic, olive oil, herbs, and spices. Called muhammara in Syria, acuka in Turkey, and ajvar in Macedonia, each cultural cuisine has its own take on the recipe, which means you too can add your own spin by adding it to pizza. The flavor is tangy and smoky and pairs well with sausage.
4. Barbecue sauce
A classic American contribution to the culinary tradition of pizza, barbecue sauce can take your slice to all new places. Be sure to use this tomato sauce alternative sparingly, because in this case there can be too much of a good thing. A thin layer of barbecue sauce goes great with shredded chicken, onions, and peppers.
You can’t go wrong when you keep it simple and use extra-virgin olive oil instead of tomato sauce. Olive oil lets the flavor of the crust really shine and it highlights the sweet, savory, and spicy of all manner of pizza toppings. And as the olive oil-drizzled pizza bakes, the crust will soak it up and become perfectly crispy and savory.