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Old 06-09-2019, 10:28 AM   #1
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Water separation in marinara sauce

Hi all, new member here! Let me know if this needs to be in a different thread...

I'm looking for some advice on my marinara sauce. I cannot seem to cure my water problems. I get a significant amount of water everytime I plate and it's both off putting to guests and frustrating when serving over things that can get "soggy." A little background on the sauce: I've tried all sorts of tomatos and brands ranging from store brand to San marzanos to garden fresh so I can't imagine that being the culprit. The sauce contains a variety of herbs, garlic, onion, and butter. Cook time is usually around 6 hours.

Any advice? I look forward to meeting you all!

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Old 06-09-2019, 10:42 AM   #2
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I start with chopped onions sauteed in olive oil, then garlic until fragrant. Then I add in 3-4 Tbsp of tomato paste and stir it until it starts to brown, next red wine. I add my spices and fresh basil sprigs. If I need more liquid Ill add chicken stock. It gets cooked uncovered for a couple hours, adding stock if needed. I don't add butter. I've never had Watery sauce. I reserve a cup of pasta cooking water and drain the pasta before adding it to the sauce.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:16 AM   #3
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Welcome to DC Tyler. Are you using fresh or canned tomatoes?
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:34 AM   #4
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I usually fix a thinner sauce either by cooking it longer ( lid off) or adding some tomato paste.

The obvious would be making sure the pasta is drained thoroughly ( to make sure the liquid isn't coming from the pasta itself, especially if its a shaped pasta that has areas where the water could hang out even after draining).



Fresh vs canned tomatoes could make a difference.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:37 AM   #5
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Generally I use San Marzano canned whole tomatos, but I have had the problem with fresh before too.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
I usually fix a thinner sauce either by cooking it longer ( lid off) or adding some tomato paste.

The obvious would be making sure the pasta is drained thoroughly ( to make sure the liquid isn't coming from the pasta itself, especially if its a shaped pasta that has areas where the water could hang out even after draining).



Fresh vs canned tomatoes could make a difference.
Originally I pointed to the pasta too, now I give it the plate test. If I put the sauce down on a plate by itself a good amount of water immediately runs off.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:55 AM   #7
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Cook it uncovered to thicken it via evaporation. After draining the pasta, add it to a pan with the sauce and stir it over heat for a minute.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:03 PM   #8
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One thing I remember from my mom's cooking was water on the plate when we had spaghetti with sauce. I didn't like the watery sauce.



So when I make sauce, I make it to can in quarts. I start with 20 quarts of cored quartered tomatoes, cook it, then hit it with an immersion blender (or run it through a mill to remove peel), and cook it until it is reduced by half. This takes a whole day and if I start at night, it goes overnight in a roaster with the lid cocked at low temperature. So 20 quarts of tomatoes for 10 quarts of thick sauce that doesn't puddle on the plate.


Last summer I repeated this 10 times, for a total of 100 quarts of canned thick tomato sauce. Not paste, not juice.



It really depends on how much water is in the starting sauce. More liquid, more cooking time, less liquid, less cooking time needed.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
One thing I remember from my mom's cooking was water on the plate when we had spaghetti with sauce. I didn't like the watery sauce.



So when I make sauce, I make it to can in quarts. I start with 20 quarts of cored quartered tomatoes, cook it, then hit it with an immersion blender (or run it through a mill to remove peel), and cook it until it is reduced by half. This takes a whole day and if I start at night, it goes overnight in a roaster with the lid cocked at low temperature. So 20 quarts of tomatoes for 10 quarts of thick sauce that doesn't puddle on the plate.


Last summer I repeated this 10 times, for a total of 100 quarts of canned thick tomato sauce. Not paste, not juice.



It really depends on how much water is in the starting sauce. More liquid, more cooking time, less liquid, less cooking time needed.
Maybe more time is my answer, I normally go 6 hours or so but today I started early this morning. So I plan to simmer the heck out of it and see what happens!
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:01 PM   #10
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In order to thicken the sauce you must simmer uncovered so water can evaporate. If you leave the lid on, simmering longer won’t help.
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