One very hot summer a few years ago, we decided to do what we called a “heritage vacation”. We took both of our son’s on a journey to places of our childhood. We took a tour of Pittsburgh, PA where my husband is from as part of our trip. He actually grew up just outside of Pittsburgh in what was once the steel town of Weirton, WV. The area of the Ohio Valley and Pittsburgh is very unique and full of so much history. That’s a post for another day. But whilst driving through all the streets and past the houses of my husband’s youth, my husband continually brought up DiCarlo’s Pizza and how good it was. How we must go there if nothing else, on this trip.
Over the last twenty years of my marriage, the name of DiCarlo’s came up numerous times. His Dad talked about it. His brother talked about it. People I met from his hometown mentioned it. So my curiosity was peaked. We didn’t know if it would still be open, but we drove to Main Street in Weirton near a huge, eerie, abandoned steel mill …..and there it was. In the middle of this partial ghost town that has seen better days, there was DiCarlo’s with a full parking lot. A lot of hype surrounded this place. My boys were skeptical. I smiled sweetly but I was doubting in my heart that this pizza would be that great. I was wrong. We ordered it to go and ate it in the car. It was truly spectacular. But one thing stood out about it. The sauce.
This set things into motion for my husband to set out on a culinary quest to recreate this sauce. And here it is, thanks to google and hours of searching on the internet, we found a former employee’s recipe that comes pretty close. My husband wasn’t sure that this recipe would match the real thing, but it does and it’s delicious. We scaled the ingredients down to be a better serving size for our family.
DiCarlo's Style Pizza Sauce
This sauce is a scaled down version of a copy-cat recipe I found for my childhood favorite Ohio Valley style pizza sauce in Weirton WV, just west of Pittsburgh, PA. Even it is surprisingly simple, this red sauce is bright, fresh, and absolutely perfect for pizza. We also use it for manicotti and as a marinara for mozzarella sticks.
- 1 tbsp of Vegetable oil
- 1 clove Garlic, smashed and diced
- 2 tbsp Yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbsp Green pepper, diced
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1 35oz can of Roma Tomatoes, whole or crushed
- Sautee the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and oregano in oil over high heat to begin to soften them and bring out the flavors.
- Add the tomato and stir frequently to prevent burning and bubbling.
- If necessary, use an immersion blender to blend to a smooth consistency.
- Simmer sauce for at least 30 minutes.