The Best Canned Tomato Sauce, According to a Pizza Chef
Upside Pizza co-owner and chef Noam Grossman takes ingredients seriously—really seriously. His pantry stocks two different kinds of oregano, for example. The pricier, more herbaceous Sicilian varietal is used in the pizza pies themselves, and the shakers are filled with less expensive but still excellent Mexican oregano. The mozzarella in his slice joint is hand-pulled, the peppers pickled on site, and the mushrooms for the mushroom slice, all broken down and sauteed on the premises. Upside Pizza sells slices to the hungry crowds in Midtown Manhattan, too, so they go through a pretty serious volume of ingredients, selling around 200 to 250 pies a day. And the tomato sauce that acts as the base for what he puts on his pies, the one Grossman swears by, is Tomato Magic.
Photography: Greg DuPree Food Styling: Rishon Hanners Prop Styling: Thom Driver
Grossman doesn't just put the ground tomatoes on the pies straight, of course—there is some top-secret doctoring and spicing at work—but it speaks volumes about the product if a chef that finicky is willing to trust it. Tomato Magic is produced by Stanislaus Food Products in California, one of several tomato-based products that they sell. The company describes it as "unbelievably sweet, bursting with fresh flavor, and a perfect blend of chunkiness and ready-to-use thickness."
Tomato magic is only sold directly to restaurants, so if you're looking to pick up a can in person, your best bet is finding a place like Restaurant Depot to purchase from. You can also buy a can on Amazon for $17.99. And bear in mind that it's in restaurant portions, so the can is very large—6.6 pounds, to be exact. If you want to invest in a mega-can of Tomato Magic for at-home use for, say, making your own pizza or cooking up some easy lasagna, the easiest thing to do is to use what you need and freeze the rest.