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Old 06-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #1
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ISO Thick Spaghetti Sauce in a Jiffy?

A good hearty pasta sauce can take hours to stew, the best ones take all day in my opinion. But what about when you get home from work and don't want to cook for an hour? Everyone tells me crockpots are phenomenal but I don't know ill use it enough.
anywho, im looking for tips on making my quickly made spaghetti sauce thicker.
I use about a pound of ground beef, 3 cloves garlic, half of a medium onion and green pepper finely chopped. Sometimes diced tomatoes but I have to be careful because if I don't strain them well my sauce becomes thinner. I let it simmer for at least 20 min, stirring often.
what else can I do? I tried adding cornstatch (1-2 tap) but it didbt seem to make a difference. Maybe adding more veggies??

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Old 06-03-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
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Rather than trying to artificially thicken a sauce quickly, I'd recommend making one of those "all day" sauces you mentioned and freeze it in meal-sized portions. Then all you'll have to do is defrost, heat and serve.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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IMO cornstarch is a bad idea. I've never seen an Italian recipe that used it to thicken a sauce, although I hasten to add that I'm not an experienced Italian chef.

How about just plain reducing it? Just take the top/lid off and turn up the heat and stir it constantly to avoid burning the bottom and to keep the sauce venting? I've never seen any liquid I couldn't reduce, and you adjust the heat and stir frequently enough to avoid burning. Any recipe should get as thick as you want upon sufficient reduction.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Use whole canned toms and squeeze them good before chopping them.
Use a can or two of tamato paste instead of sauce. You can make it dry enough to add some wine!
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:37 AM   #5
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greg, i've never seen it a recipe either, but some italian professional chefs i know have mentioned using cornstarch, arrowroot, or even flour to quickly thicken up tomato sauces when starting with particularly watery fresh tomatoes.

i often use tomato paste to thicken sauce made from canned whole or crushed tomatoes. you can make a really good, fairly thick sauce in less than a half hour this way. just aggressively simmer the canned tomatoes and any additional dried herbs for 10 to 15 minutes uncovered -stirring frequently, then add a good coupla heaping tbsps of tomato paste, and stir in. you'll see it thicken up right away, and continue to get thicker as it simmers longer.

hth.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:12 AM   #6
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Buon Giorno,

50% Italian here, and has never heard of corn starch in a Red Tomato Sauce ...

There are several wonderful Bolognese Sauces on this forum written by Italians and / or by their Grandmom´s ... See Dianne´s, Luca Lazzari´s and See Mine in the Pasta Section if I am correct ... Luca is is a native from Lombardia and Dianne from Emilia Romagna - Bologna and My Grandmom was from Milanó, Lombardia ...

This sauce is freezable ... Easy to prepare and Fault-less ...

Another point; a lovely sauce and simple is Pesto ( posted in the Pasta Section ) :

fresh basil
Evoo
garlic
Salt
Pinenuts ( if you cannot find, use Walnuts )

Blend in a food processor or blender ...

Have a nice Monday.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:17 AM   #7
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Cornstarch? Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. But all of the above suggestions have merit. Just turn the heat up, stir frequently, but don't walk too far away from the stove.

The problem with cornstarch is that after sitting for a while, cornstarch tends to separate and all that thickness is gone. Flour leaves an aftertaste. Pasta sauce doesn't respond very well to thickners except tomato paste.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:38 AM   #8
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Buon Giorno Addie,

I am in agreement with Addie.

Tomato paste: the only tomato sauce thickener ...

Have a lovely Monday,
Ciao, Margi.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:41 AM   #9
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Buon Giorno,

Sorry, I left out the R.P. ...

Oh Yes, the Pesto: needs Reggiano Parmesano added to the basil, Pinenuts, Evoo and garlic to make a paste like dip sauce, which is not runny nor liquidy ...

Off to work,
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candorpants View Post
A good hearty pasta sauce can take hours to stew, the best ones take all day in my opinion. But what about when you get home from work and don't want to cook for an hour? Everyone tells me crockpots are phenomenal but I don't know ill use it enough.
anywho, im looking for tips on making my quickly made spaghetti sauce thicker.
I use about a pound of ground beef, 3 cloves garlic, half of a medium onion and green pepper finely chopped. Sometimes diced tomatoes but I have to be careful because if I don't strain them well my sauce becomes thinner. I let it simmer for at least 20 min, stirring often.
what else can I do? I tried adding cornstatch (1-2 tap) but it didbt seem to make a difference. Maybe adding more veggies??
Use the best tomatoes, i.e. large can of whole crushed - muir glen or imported (san marzano). You prob won't need a thickening agent, but if you do, add 1 - 2 TBL tomato paste (or a liittle honey of you need a sweetener). Sautee your garlic in some evoo, add some red pepper flakes, add tomatoes & simmer about 15 mins. Add fresh herbs, stir, & remove from stove.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:32 AM   #11
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when i make a big pot of sauce, I am usually doing alot things also, so I forget to get back to it and stir etc. crockpot is good, if you leave the cover partiallly off as it cooks it makes steam making more water adding to the sauce. I have found after making it, put it in a oven proof pot and cook it in the oven. It reduces it nicely and mind comes out really nice. I then, let it cool and put in quart size freezer bags. It will defrost faster. I take it out in the morning - put in the fridge - when i get home alset to heat up . One hint tho put the bag in a bowl as one of my bags had a little hole in and leaked all over my fridge.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:11 AM   #12
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I think the easiest thig to do in the above situation is to simply add tomato paste. It will do the trick. Not everybody want to bother witth all day cooking even if it is in advance.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #13
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I use my electric pressure cooker, brown onions n meat etc add all bits n bods and no extra liquid. Cook for 20 - 30 minutes once up to steam depending how hungry we are I either allow it the further 15-20 mins to depressurise on its own or I will quick release. Bugger a slow cooker, pressure cookers are the kings of bolognaise and hot pots, stews, casseroles. The tougher the meat cut the better it cooks up in the pc.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:53 AM   #14
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Welcome to DC! I do the "all day simmer" method and freeze it. I also make tomato paste (which takes about 18 hours in a low oven) and freeze that. Not much help re: making a thick sauce in a hurry, but others have chimed in.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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Whirl up a handful of sundried tomatoes in a food processor with a scoop of you runny sauce. Return it to the pot for a few minutes. As the dried tomatoes rehydrate the sauce will thicken up and there's the added benefit of the deeply rich flavor they will bring to the sauce.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H
Whirl up a handful of sundried tomatoes in a food processor with a scoop of you runny sauce. Return it to the pot for a few minutes. As the dried tomatoes rehydrate the sauce will thicken up and there's the added benefit of the deeply rich flavor they will bring to the sauce.
Nice suggestion yummo
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:30 PM   #17
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Here is a simple guide:
For 1 hour cooking or less: Do a simple marinara, and then add grounded beef/lamb/pork with some/substantial amount of white/red wine and reduce to taste. Never go above MEDIUM on your range temp.
For 2 hours or more: follow the Bolognese recipe of your choice. If you can understand Italian, the Giallo Zafferano web site has a video on how to make it with the original recipe from Bologna. Very tasty.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:00 PM   #18
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I never use ground meat in my red gravy. I use either stew meat or chuck roast, which at the end of cooking I take part or all of the meat and grind it up in my f/p I put this back into the gravy, I also add dried wild mushrooms that I've reconstituted straining the broth that the mushrooms give off to make my gravy a rich brown color we cook our gravy about 5-6 hours this can be done on a Sunday or weekend put into containers and frozen for future use. If you'd like my recipe I'd be glad to give it to you.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #19
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I'm of the opinion that a good pasta sauce doesn't need to simmer for more than 10-20 minutes if you're using good tomatoes like Stanislaus 7-11 or Escalon 6in1.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:04 PM   #20
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Lightbulb

I would use tomato puree instead of using tomatoes. I also agree with making a big batch of sauce and freezing. I make about 14 quarts every few months.
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ISO Thick Spaghetti Sauce in a Jiffy? A good hearty pasta sauce can take hours to stew, the best ones take all day in my opinion. But what about when you get home from work and don't want to cook for an hour? Everyone tells me crockpots are phenomenal but I don't know ill use it enough. anywho, im looking for tips on making my quickly made spaghetti sauce thicker. I use about a pound of ground beef, 3 cloves garlic, half of a medium onion and green pepper finely chopped. Sometimes diced tomatoes but I have to be careful because if I don't strain them well my sauce becomes thinner. I let it simmer for at least 20 min, stirring often. what else can I do? I tried adding cornstatch (1-2 tap) but it didbt seem to make a difference. Maybe adding more veggies?? 3 stars 1 reviews
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