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Old 05-08-2008, 07:40 AM   #21
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simmering with the lid off or at least somewhat off, and/or tomato paste will thicken your sauce. Browning meat and draining fat will also help. Allow veg lilke onion to cook out it's water. Then check your pasta: are you using a quality brand? don't rinse it, oil or butter it as that will affect stickability.

Barilla makes a spaghetti rigate (with ridges) that really makes sauce cling. Look for it and give it a try.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:48 AM   #22
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While the sauce is simmering, are you stirring it every so often? What tomato product are you using?
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:50 AM   #23
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I use a brand name box pasta, Barilla, Goia (sp?), whatever is on sale, usually 10 for $10 where I shop.

Looks like the common denominator is I have to start draining the meat and veggies before adding the sauce.

I appreciate all the help! I'll be sure to post my results next time I make some.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:55 AM   #24
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While the sauce is simmering, are you stirring it every so often? What tomato product are you using?
About every 10 minutes. I don't want the meat to settle and burn.
This time it was Ragu Robust or something like that. Not their traditional. Sometimes it's Prego. Again, whatever is on sale I stock up on. Jar sauce gives me a quick topping for frozen raviolis or gnocci so I like to have some on hand, but I know I should really start making my own sauce when I take the time to cook everything else for spaghetti or goulash.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:10 AM   #25
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pacanis, the two methods mentioned: reducing by simmering uncovered, and adding tomato paste are pretty much the two main things you can do with any tomato sauce. for that tiny bit of water that is as stubborn as cellulite to get rid of , you can actually add a little cornstarch slurry. but only into a fairly big pot o' sauce.

the problem with long simmering lies in the fact that sometimes you don't have the time to let it simmer, and/or that a long simmer would overcook the other ingredients until they dissintegrated. ok, sometimes you might want that, but most other sauces taste better if certain of the ingredients are cooked to different donenesses affecting their textures, and in a smaller way, flavor. things such as meatball and sausage go through stages of being under-cooked, then cooked enough to eat, then perfectly tender, then they start to fall apart. same goes for veggies, especially ones like mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini. if you want them tender and perfect to serve, or even a little al dente (for the veggies) but your sauce hasn't thickened enough yet, add a little tomato paste. the stuff is like magic in absorbing up a lot of the liquid. it will also add a little deeper tomato flavor, but it won't be that noticable.

and if you're gonna drain off the fat from browned meats, be sure to degalze the pan with a little water, or the liquid from a can of tomatoes, and add to the pot.

hth.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:10 AM   #26
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Cuz...why do you buy that prepared junk? Buy crushed or diced tomatos. It's healthier and more flavorful.....and cheaper.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:22 AM   #27
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Drain/and or paste. Got it.

I buy the jar stuff because it's handy to have around, Jeeks. I don't need to worry about thawing frozen sauce or taking two hours to prepare a sauce if I'm in the mood for some frozen raviolis or similar. Or a little red gravy on some scrambled eggs. Even if I start making my spaghetti sauce from scratch, I'll probably still have some jarred stuff around.
Look at it as a form of fast food
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:32 AM   #28
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You can keep it in a sealed container in your fridge for quite some time. I make a basic sauce from onion, garlic, tomato, basil and store it until I need it. Then I can add sausage or peppers, or use a couple spoons for some quick pasta, or turn it into chili, etc.

Say you wanted a ground beef sauce, brown up some meat, drain the fat, put a couple spoons of the ready made sauce in, heat to temp and it's done. Would take 10 minutes, not even.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #29
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This time it was Ragu Robust or something like that. Not their traditional. Sometimes it's Prego. Again, whatever is on sale I stock up on. Jar sauce gives me a quick topping for frozen raviolis or gnocci so I like to have some on hand, but I know I should really start making my own sauce when I take the time to cook everything else for spaghetti or goulash.
With all the work your doing to modify the jar sauce you are pretty much there anyway! It wont really be much more work to make sauce. You basically just need to replace your jar sauce with some canned tomato products and herbs.

I also find I get good results with making my sauce in a enameled dutch oven and putting it in the oven instead of on the stovetop to simmer. You could give that a try.

Draining the meats may help but I dont think all the water is coming from them and it does not look like you have excess grease... maybe the veggies though they may be releasing some water into the sauce. Maybe cook them down more carmelize the onions and saute the mushrooms more first?

as for the jar sauce I usually keep some on hand for convinience.... my mom gets mad if I mention it though she considers it to be an absurt product Of course I cant work the magic with pasta and little else that she can. My main problem with the stuff is the amount of sugar they put in alot of it. I usually buy the Barilla or Trader Joes brands I find them to be a good cost/taste balance and to have not too offensive ingredient lists.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:44 AM   #30
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I didn't know homemade sauce kept that well. Thanks for that tip, it definitely changes my outlook now.

So OK, next time I'm at the store I'll pick up some cans of tomato products and more spices. Don't expect to convert me to fresh herbs though
One at a time.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:55 AM   #31
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I take my homemade sauce and put one meal portions in zip locks and freeze. It defrosts in 10 to 15 min. After reading Jeekins post, I will make up some palin tomatoe sauce and keep a bit in the fridge and a few bags.

BTW, just rip the bag off the lump and put it in the pot.

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Old 05-08-2008, 09:01 AM   #32
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I didn't know homemade sauce kept that well. Thanks for that tip, it definitely changes my outlook now.

So OK, next time I'm at the store I'll pick up some cans of tomato products and more spices. Don't expect to convert me to fresh herbs though
One at a time.
Once you make your own sauce, you'll never buy the jar stuff again.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:04 AM   #33
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Don't expect to convert me to fresh herbs though
One at a time.
Deep breaths and baby steps -
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:25 PM   #34
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Fred,
Is it possible it is the spaghetti sauce? Some sauce is superior to others... I don't know which brand you use, but maybe next time around look for a different one, maybe one that advertises it is a thicker sauce.
Just a shot, but from the picture it does look like water separating out from the sauce, look on the ingredients to see if water is listed there. I just looked at our jar, and the first ingredient is Tomato Puree (water, tomato paste). This is where DW and I differ. She bought this jar, and I guarantee you when I make spaghetti with it there will be water left on everybody's plate. I always make sure to buy the better spaghetti sauce that is thicker and less watery. I also mix my sauces, like one that is garlic with one that is basil flavored. Or better yet one Alfredo with one tomato sauce.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:30 PM   #35
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Try adding some parmesan or romano. A can of paste will also do the trick, but you may have to add a pinch of sugar to curb the acid from the paste.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:35 PM   #36
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I will keep this all in mind.

Thank you much!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:37 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
I take my homemade sauce and put one meal portions in zip locks and freeze. It defrosts in 10 to 15 min. After reading Jeekins post, I will make up some palin tomatoe sauce and keep a bit in the fridge and a few bags.

BTW, just rip the bag off the lump and put it in the pot.

AC
I agree, Being from a family of 9 kids, I don't know how to cook "small". I always make a big pot of sauce and freeze it. Here's another tip: if you use italian sausage (links) in your sauce (which you definitely should) try baking it instead of frying. It saves time and comes out nice & tender!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:53 PM   #38
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Fred,
Is it possible it is the spaghetti sauce? Some sauce is superior to others... I don't know which brand you use, but maybe next time around look for a different one, maybe one that advertises it is a thicker sauce.
Just a shot, but from the picture it does look like water separating out from the sauce, look on the ingredients to see if water is listed there. I just looked at our jar, and the first ingredient is Tomato Puree (water, tomato paste). This is where DW and I differ. She bought this jar, and I guarantee you when I make spaghetti with it there will be water left on everybody's plate. I always make sure to buy the better spaghetti sauce that is thicker and less watery. I also mix my sauces, like one that is garlic with one that is basil flavored. Or better yet one Alfredo with one tomato sauce.
When I make red sauce that is not from scratch I never buy all the fancy sauces in the jars have yet to have one that tastes good on it's own.Those that are my favorite to use as a base for sauce will be either Hunts or Del Monte traditional spaghetti sauce in the can also real cheap it still is not totally from scratch but it is a head start. I start with cooking meat and then drain fat. In a separate pan I saute onions, celery and maybe some bell peppers and mushrooms in olive oil. I then add all those to sauce then I add a bit more Italian herbs and some fresh garlic and about 1-2 table spoons of pesto (homemade frozen in my freezer)maybe some more salt and pepper and a tiny bit of hot pepper. After that you can add a splash or two of red wine also. It always turns out great, of course I do simmer it quite a while to get the flavors together and to thicken. I like to make a big pot of sauce so I can freeze some for future dinners.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:10 PM   #39
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I like both of those, there are also a couple that are made local here that are pretty good. I do have a tendency to 'doctor' them up quite a bit, including a bit of red wine and plenty of veggie chunks, additional spices, garlic, that sort of thing.
Drives my son nuts as he hates veggies, LOL.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:49 AM   #40
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If the cause of the runniness is grease and not water content, you might be able to reduce the amount of grease by running a large leaf or two of lettuce over the top after the grease rises to the top. This is an old trick for reducing fat in soup, but it might work for this too.
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