Pizza with Mock Tomato Sauce (Mock Tomata) from the Cook's Oracle by William Kitchiner

Mock Tomato Sauce (after Kitchiner and Hunter)

An interesting replacement for tomato sauce, this one uses apples instead. The recipe is based on one published more than 200 years ago.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely minced shallot
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 2 small sharp apples like Granny Smith
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp powdered turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp vinegar white or white wine
  • Chili sauce to taste
  • Other herbs and spices to taste oregano, basil, thyme, etc.


  1. Peel and core the apples. Chop roughly (they will be mashed later, so precision is not important).
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the shallot, cook until it softens (a few minutes).
  4. Add the garlic, stir, and let cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the apples, water, turmeric, salt, and vinegar. Mix well.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the apples are soft.
  7. Mash well with a potato masher, or puree in a blender or with a hand blender (depending on how smooth you want the sauce).
  8. Season to taste with chili sauce and more vinegar ("as much Chili vinegar as will give the same degree of acid flavour that the tomata has", recommends Kitchiner in his recipe).
  9. Add herbs and spices to tune the flavors to your liking (oregano and basil for a mock tomato pizza sauce, cumin and dried red chiles for a mock tomato chili base, etc.)

Recipe Notes

Based on a recipe in Apicius Redivivus; Or, The Cook's Oracle, by William Kitchiner (1818), who based his recipe on one by Alexander Hunter ("Ignotus") in Culina Famulatrix Medicinae: Or, Receipts in Cookery... (1804).