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Old 10-26-2007, 01:04 PM   #1
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How to thicken basic pasta sauce

I usually just make a basic sauce. Cook up some onions and garlic. throw in a can of whole tomatoes (crushed by hand)....dab of wine, some oregano.

DH says its rather thin. How can I thicken it up? and how much?

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Old 10-26-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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How long do you cook it?

A longer cooking time will evaporate some liquid and make it thicker.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:08 PM   #3
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about 1/2 hour or so
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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You could try cooking it for an hour and see if that thickens it enough.

Another question -- do you add the liquid from the tomatoes? If so, omit it or cut back and strain the crushed tomatoes so that you have less liquid in the first place.

Tomato paste will help make it taste deeper, too.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:16 PM   #5
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how much tomatoe paste? maybe a teaspoon?
I was also thinking about tomatoe paste myself.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I usually just make a basic sauce. Cook up some onions and garlic. throw in a can of whole tomatoes (crushed by hand)....dab of wine, some oregano.

DH says its rather thin. How can I thicken it up? and how much?
Jenny's right -- cook it longer. and if you really want to only cook it for 1/2 hour, then drain the tomatoes before you put them in. That will eliminate much of the water.

You could add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, but not too much. The taste can be pretty strong.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:32 PM   #7
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Well, Just 'cooking longer' doesnt help much, what i do is, when i am draining the boiled pasta, i drain the pasta and reserve the water in which the pasta has been boiling, and add this water to the pasta sauce while preparing it and cook it., This water helps to really thicken up the sauce a loot. You can also add cheese to it to get a cheesy sauce pasta
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:45 PM   #8
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When making a meat sauce, we cook it all day,using meat such as stew meat or a chuck roast,we also re-constitute a good portion of dry mushrooms saving the water to darken the meat sauce, the mushrooms are then chopped very tiny and added to the sauce..This will thicken it up a lot as will taking some of the meat that is now falling apart in the sauce and putting it in a F/P and making a paste out of it. Then add this meat paste a little at a time to your sauce, it thickens it and your sauce is ready to go.We find adding meat and mushrooms also makes it richer and tastier...
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:46 PM   #9
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Well, cooking longer doesnt help much, what i do is, when i am draining the boiled pasta, i drain the pasta and reserve the water in which the pasta has been boiling, and add this water to the pasta sauce while preparing it and cook it., This water helps to really thicken up the sauce a loot. You can also add cheese to it to get a cheesy sauce pasta

You cook your pasta before you prepare the sauce????
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:49 PM   #10
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Yes, i add half cup of oilve oil/canola oil to the water while boiling the pasta and my pasta doesnt lump up after i drain it coz of the oil..
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #11
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Yes, i add half cup of oilve oil/canola oil to the water while boiling the pasta and my pasta doesnt lump up after i drain it coz of the oil..

I had never heard of doing that. I've always cooked the pasta when the sauce is ready. Then you have to reheat the pasta before you serve it, right? What is the benefit if cooking it first?
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #12
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For a quick result we have a thing we called corn flour over here which is a thickener. Mix a teaspoon with a tablespoon of water, mix to a paste and add to your sauce. I have also been known, in desperation to add gravy granules or instant soup to thicken.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #13
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Yes, i add half cup of oilve oil/canola oil to the water while boiling the pasta and my pasta doesnt lump up after i drain it coz of the oil..
That's a LOT of oil!

Pasta won't clump if you cook it properly in lots of boiling water. Oil will prevent the sauce from adhering to the pasta, too.

And cooking longer will make a sauce thicken -- that's simple physics.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:01 PM   #14
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Well, to explain you all the procedure i make the pasta is, i stir fry the veggies, chicken, prawns, whatever i'm adding to the pasta, and at the sametime on a different stove i boil the pasta. Both cook at the same time. I then drain the pasta, reserve the water, add 1 or 2 cups of the reserved pasta water to the sauce, add powdered chicken stock, and then add the boiled reserved pasta to the sauce, cook it for 2 minutes, till mixed throughly, and serve it hot !! I never add cornflour. The pasta water has enough gluten to thicken the sauce :-)
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:10 PM   #15
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Well, to explain you all the procedure i make the pasta is, i stir fry the veggies, chicken, prawns, whatever i'm adding to the pasta, and at the sametime on a different stove i boil the pasta. Both cook at the same time. I then drain the pasta, reserve the water, add 1 or 2 cups of the reserved pasta water to the sauce, add powdered chicken stock, and then add the boiled reserved pasta to the sauce, cook it for 2 minutes, till mixed throughly, and serve it hot !! I never add cornflour. The pasta water has enough gluten to thicken the sauce :-)

Adding 1-2 cups of cooking water to the OP's tomato sauce will do nothing but make it incredibly watery and ruined. There is nowhere near enough starch dissolved in it to thicken it.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:19 PM   #16
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Well, it will thicken !! try it and see it for yourselves once :-) I have been doing it for years.
And by 1 or 2 cups, i mean it depends on the amount of pasta you are cooking, if its 800 gms you need to add 1 or 2 cups, if its less, you can go by less than 1 cup too, it all depends. And !! You need to cook the pasta, to thicken it once you add the pasta water to it. You can also add tomato paste along, and cornflour is the best thickener as said, but i feel i alters with the taste.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:38 PM   #17
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Yes, i add half cup of oilve oil/canola oil to the water while boiling the pasta and my pasta doesnt lump up after i drain it coz of the oil..
It's difficult for sauce to adhere to oily pasta, and this method adds a lot of extra fat and calories to the dish. I time the cooking of my pasta and sauce so the sauce is done first and waiting for the pasta. It can continue to simmer, covered, until I'm ready to serve.

At this point, you could add some pasta water to the sauce before draining the pasta and simmer it a little longer, uncovered, while you drain the pasta and put it in the serving dish, then pour the sauce over the pasta to serve. No need to mix it together; it will get mixed as it's served up at the table. HTH.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:43 PM   #18
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I usually just make a basic sauce. Cook up some onions and garlic. throw in a can of whole tomatoes (crushed by hand)....dab of wine, some oregano.

DH says its rather thin. How can I thicken it up? and how much?
Try using a can of crushed tomatoes, rather than whole tomatoes. How much? Ask DH
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:44 PM   #19
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GotGarlic, what does HTH mean?

Maria, if your method works for you, just keep on doing it. I think there are lots of ideas here for the OP to choose from in rectifying their "runny" sauce.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:52 PM   #20
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GotGarlic, what does HTH mean?
HTH = Hope this helps.
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