Want to make your spaghetti sauce thicker? Here are 7 easy ways to achieve that!
Whether you’ve purchased sauce from the store or made it from scratch, these simple tips will transform a watery mess into a rich and savory sauce.
We’ll explore simple techniques using ingredients you probably already have at home.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into seven methods to turn that soupy mess into a luscious and flavorful spaghetti sauce!
1. Simmer Your Sauce
This is the easiest way to thicken spaghetti sauce without changing its taste. Bring your sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to let it simmer.
When doing this, take care not to overcook or burn the sauce. Leave it uncovered while simmering and remember to stir it frequently.
This method may require some time, but it’s definitely worth it. Once the excess moisture evaporates, you’ll have a thick and delicious sauce ready to be added to your pasta!
2. Incorporate a Roux
If simmering your sauce isn’t enough to achieve the rich and thick consistency you desire, consider adding a thickening agent like roux.
If you haven’t made a roux before, don’t worry! It’s quite simple. Roux is a mixture of butter and flour commonly used in French cooking.
To make your own roux for spaghetti sauce, combine equal parts butter and flour. Gradually add the flour to a pan with melted butter over medium heat, whisking continuously.
Ensure the mixture turns out smooth. Continue whisking until the roux starts to bubble, and then add it to your sauce!
When incorporating a roux, add it in small increments while the spaghetti sauce is still warm, allowing the roux to fully blend into the sauce.
This method requires a bit more effort than just simmering, but it will only mildly affect the flavor.
3. Use Cornstarch
If making a roux seems like too much work, try thickening your spaghetti sauce with cornstarch instead.
What I like about this method is that it’s quick and easy!
Unlike flour, cornstarch has a neutral flavor, so it won’t significantly impact the taste of your sauce.
You can add cornstarch directly into the sauce, but I prefer to mix it with a little water first to ensure it combines well. Then, add it to the spaghetti sauce gradually.
Cornstarch is a potent thickening agent, so be cautious not to add too much at once. Adding small amounts at a time will prevent the sauce from becoming overly gooey.
4. Enhance with Mashed Potatoes
You might find it surprising or hesitate to try this, but mashed potatoes work wonders when it comes to thickening spaghetti sauce!
Similar to flour and cornstarch, potatoes are naturally starchy and will thicken your sauce quickly.
Furthermore, they contribute a pleasant sweetness to the spaghetti sauce, making it even more satisfying.
I recommend using this method only if you already have mashed potatoes on hand, as it can be quite a bit of work to make them from scratch!
Adding mashed potatoes is also an excellent solution if your sauce is overly salty. The potatoes will help balance the flavors.
Plus, you won’t be introducing additional heat to the sauce, so there’s no risk of overcooking!
5. Cook Your Pasta in the Sauce
Here’s another way to thicken spaghetti sauce without altering its taste. Hopefully, you haven’t fully cooked your pasta yet! Ideally, you want it just a few minutes shy of al dente.
When cooking your pasta, remove it from the boiling water early, so it’s not fully cooked through. Drain it thoroughly until it’s almost dry, and then add it to the sauce.
The pasta will absorb any excess moisture, and its starch will also contribute to thickening your spaghetti sauce.
Apart from not affecting the taste, I love how this method brings all the flavors together, resulting in a richer and more delicious dish!
6. Add Vegetables
One excellent way to thicken and add texture to your runny spaghetti sauce is by incorporating vegetables. This also provides an opportunity to introduce additional layers of flavor into your dish.
Shredded carrots are an excellent option. Traditional Italian cooks actually use this method when making sauce, so it’s certainly worth a try!
Make sure your carrots are soft and mushy. They will help balance out the tomato’s acidity.
Another vegetable you can consider adding is eggplant! If you enjoy its creamy texture and flavor, it makes a fantastic addition to your sauce. Just remember to remove the skin to maintain a smooth sauce!
Pureed and sautéed onions work wonderfully as well, especially if you feel that your sauce lacks flavor.
7. Add Ground Beef or Sausage
Incorporating ground beef is a quick and easy way to introduce texture and flavor to your spaghetti sauce!
The best approach is to recook the sauce over very low heat. Add ground beef to the sauce, allowing the acidic and meaty flavors to meld together.
Depending on the taste you desire, you can incorporate seasoned or unseasoned ground beef. Alternatively, diced Italian sausage adds another enjoyable variation.
Since you will be adding these meaty ingredients, you’ll need to cook the sauce for a little longer. Remember to keep it uncovered and stir regularly to prevent burning!
Remember, these methods are simple ways to transform thin spaghetti sauce into a deliciously thick one. Experiment with different techniques and ingredients to find the perfect consistency for your taste buds!
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