Italian food is a rich storehouse of many sauce types, like red, white, or clear sauce. Many a time, we are tempted to make that delicious red sauce at home itself. But it turns out to be disastrous quite often, when we end up having a pot full of thin, runny, and watery red tomato juice in the pot, instead of sauce. Tastessence tells you of ways to thicken homemade tomato sauce.
Strain and Drain
It is a good choice to strain the tomatoes before thrusting them into the saucepan for boiling for hours. This way, you can get rid of the excess water present inside the tomatoes, which usually oozes out when heated.
Some days just don’t seem to pass without spoiling a good mood and appetite. It can be worse when you are in high spirits, and you really want to cook something nice, the taste of which you can cherish for decades down the line. Noble thought, truly. But tragedy strikes the most when this beautiful aspiration is cut short when you find the end result of your delicacy in total disaster, not even close to your contemplation. This often happens when you try to cook some good dish which you love eating at the restaurant, or a friend who masters the art of cooking it perfectly.
Have you been pondering about how to mend the flaws in your tomato sauce which you have just cooked, following all the directions in your cookbook, and yet it appears to be runny and watery. Just go through the sections below to correct the sauce, and make it complementary to the spaghetti or pizza which top your list of favorites.
How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce
Spaghetti is the world famous indulgence that comes from the Italian kitchen. But in an effort to replicate spaghetti sauce in our own kitchens, it may sometimes backfire at us, especially when the consistency becomes too thin and runny. So how do we correct the folly, and add some good volume to our spaghetti sauce, which we love to complement with equally good spaghetti. Here’s the answer to this mind-boggling situation.
Heat it Up!
If the spaghetti sauce has been cooking for several hours altogether, and is yet quite watery, it should be cooked on a higher flame, and the vessel which is used for cooking the sauce should be left open without any kind of covering. However, occasional stirring is important in order to prevent it from sticking to the vessel. This process is known as ‘reducing’ the sauce, which helps the excess water to evaporate, leaving the thick sauce to be savored with spaghetti.
The Power of an Ad-on!
If you have a ready-made spaghetti sauce can, which usually releases water while cooking, feel free to add some grated carrots, which will not only eliminate the extra water present in the sauce, but also add a mild flavor and a hint of sweetness to the tangy tomatoes. Mouth-watering indeed it is! You can also bank upon some additional veggies or even mushrooms to have a thicker sauce.
Add some powdered garlic, oregano, basil, and boil it.
Soak the excess water by adding bread crumbs to the sauce. Bread is a natural sponge, and therefore, is ideal to use as an absorbent to remove the water content, without altering the taste.
Add some fresh tomato paste, and instantly add mass to the thin spaghetti sauce that you have made.
You can also add some Parmesan cheese, which goes well with spaghetti too. This thickens the sauce and makes it more palatable, though you have the extra pounds added!
The Last Resort
Add some more spaghetti to it so that it absorbs water while cooking. This will automatically make your sauce thicker, and it would stick to the noodles.
How To Thicken Tomato Sauce For Pizza
Pizza with the additional herbs, meat, and a lustrous sauce is just what you need on a weekend afternoon. But with the sauce that you just experimented with tomatoes has just tormented you, as it is too thin, would probably not stick to the pizza, and might as well evaporate when baked along with the pizza! What a mess! The following suggestions can perhaps save your day and a grand weekend lunch.
Call for Pureed Tomatoes
You can finish the job by adding tomato puree to your runny flowing pizza sauce. This way, you can also thicken tomato sauce without tomato paste, and still boast of baking a perfect pizza straight from the oven of your own kitchen.
Corn or Flour
Add spoons full of either cornstarch or flour, whichever is available in your pantry. You can add one spoon at first, and then stir it to see if it thickens in minutes. If needed, add some more, but don’t add excess of either of them, as it can ruin the flavor. You can also add some baking soda, very sparingly, which arrests the excess water. But be careful not to add too much of it, as it will neutralize the taste of all the other ingredients.
It may at times happen that, despite cooking the sauce for hours on the stove, it doesn’t give the required consistency. Therefore, always use a vessel that has a broad and open surface, so that the ratio of evaporation is high. You can also try storing the thin sauce for a while, giving it a resting time. This helps in thickening it.
Few More Ways to Try!
Get a mixture of butter and flour. To it, add some milk, or even a stock. Adding this to the sauce, and thickens it up excellently.
For this, you need loads of butter. All you need to do is get a cup of melted butter for every cup of sauce. Whisk the melted butter enormously to a smooth, silky paste. Add this to the sauce, and you have a perfect sauce that goes well with pasta and pizza.
If you don’t detest the taste and flavor of nuts, then grind some almonds and add this to the sauce. This thickens it greatly.
These were some useful steps to thicken your homemade tomato sauce quite efficiently, just like a professional. You can use these tips to thicken tomato sauce for canning too. You could also try making your sauce in a crock pot, which helps thicken it by cooking it slowly.