Recipe: “Nightshade’s” Drool-Worthy Pizza Sauce


“What are you doing?” Emma asked.

“Ordering pizza from Nightshade’s,” said Malcom. “There’s an app.”

“A what?” said Dru.

“Nightshade?” Livvy turned around. “The vampire?”

“He owns a pizza place. The sauce is divine,” Malcolm said, kissing his own fingers.

“Aren’t you worried what’s in it?” said Livvy.

Click here for my review of Cassandra Clare’s latest installment in the Shadowhunter saga, Lady Midnight.

Did anyone else notice how many times the Blackthorns ordered Nightshade pizza? Was anyone else craving pizza with an out-of-this-world sauce? You will suspect addictive demon powders have been slipped into this sauce.


The secret ingredient: brown sugar. It creates a lovely syrup that bites through the acidic tomatoes and brings a delicious balance of sweet and savory, with a spicy kick.

You can refrigerate any remaining sauce in an airtight container for up to one week. I haven’t had a chance to test this theory yet, but I suspect this sauce would also make an excellent tomato-basil soup with a splash or two of milk/cream.


My toppings were inspired by the beachy locale — a crispy, thin crust pizza topped with stringy mozzarella, Canadian bacon, and pineapple.


I used my simple, go-to bread recipe for the crust. I only needed about a quarter of the dough to spread a thin crust. I also recommend using a pizza stone that has preheated in the oven at 450° F for at least 30 minutes. Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes.

Nightshade’s Pizza Sauce


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 diced onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/8-1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (It depends how much of a kick you want. Be warned, cayenne is quite strong.)

1 teaspoon salt

2-28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons dried basil (or 1/2 cup of fresh basil, if available)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. (I use my Le Creuset).
  2. Add the onion and caramelize for 10 to 15 minutes. The longer you cook the onion, the better. Caramelized onion will create a sweeter flavor. The onions will first start to look translucent and then begin to darken. If the onion sticks to the pan, add a splash of water.
  3.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off, but leave the pan on the heat. Add the brown sugar and stir quickly. Sugar burns easily! The brown sugar will become a syrup. If necessary, you can turn heat on low. Once you have a syrup, add the cayenne, salt, and diced tomatoes.
  5. Simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmering will bring all of the flavors together. In the final 5 minutes, add the dried or fresh basil.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat blend the sauce with an immersion blender. Be sure the blender always stays immersed in the sauce. You don’t want scorching tomato sauce flying all over your kitchen! (Option to use a regular blender).
  7. Once completed, build your pizza! After spreading out my dough, I brushed the dough with olive oil then spooned on the sauce. Add your selected toppings and bake at 450° F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Kiss your fingers, Malcom-style and enjoy!



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