The rich, juicy flavor and texture of any pasta are considered incomplete without a perfectly cooked spaghetti sauce. When it comes to nutritional value and taste, a homemade spaghetti sauce has little to no comparison with store-ready pasta sauce. If you want to ditch your store-bought sauce, then you are at a place where I will tell you how to make sauce quickly. Besides, you would know how to thicken spaghetti sauce in 10 different ways. Let’s get started.
How to Make Spaghetti Sauce?
It’s quite simple to cook a yummy sauce at home.
- Finely chopped onion
- Freshly chopped garlic (3-4 cloves)
- Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
- Canned tomatoes (28 ounces)
- Thickening agent
- black pepper
- Take a Non-Stick Pan and sauté onion and garlic with olive oil at least for two minutes.
- Once you smell the aroma, add a pinch of salt and black pepper. You need to add oregano, freshly chopped parsley, and basil for bringing extra taste to this sauce. A pinch of paprika is a must-have.
- Add canned tomatoes and half a glass of water. Bring this mixture to a boil and then lower the heat.
- Cover your sauce and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Uncover the lid and check the consistency and flavor of your sauce.
- Add thickening agent- (I’m going to give you ten different options below).
- Once your sauce gets its thick texture, please remove it from heat as it’s ready to use.
How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce?
As your pasta sauce has tomatoes, therefore it has more water content. You can’t serve runny or water sauce because it will make your spaghetti look like a disaster. Sometimes, you add more water to the sauce, and the dilemma is to find the best way to thicken the sauce. Whether you want a quick fix or a general guideline of thickening agent, I’m going to share ten different ways to thicken your spaghetti sauce. Let’s find out more.
#1. Throw in Vegetables
Freshly chopped vegetables enhance the nutritional value of your spaghetti sauce. Don’t just add spaghetti; try to enrich the overall flavor through some veggies. You can add freshly chopped carrots, capsicum, onion, and cauliflower to bring extra taste to your sauce. Although vegetable puree seems like a great idea, you can get a thick texture with finely chopped vegetables, too. I prefer to go with freshly cut or chopped vegetables because they add a crunchy flavor to pasta, which is otherwise impossible with purees.
#2. Go with Flour
Take one tablespoon of flour with one tablespoon of water and dilute your flour. Once your spaghetti sauce starts simmering, it’s the point to add flour. You need to pour this mixture gradually into your sauce and let your sauce get thicker for some time.
Naturally, one or two tablespoons of flour are enough to get the desired texture. Don’t add too much water. You need to cook your sauce for at least 10 minutes so that sauce doesn’t have a floury flavor. In case you are planning to use your spaghetti the next day, I suggest you try other methods. Bringing back your floury sauce to life with reheating doesn’t carry fresh flavor always.
#3. Use Pasta Water
Once you strain your spaghetti or pasta, then don’t throw its water away. Pasta water has starch in it, and therefore you can use it to thicken your spaghetti sauce. Once you are making your sauce, then add one or two tablespoons of pasta water to it. The best thing to go with this method is that your pasta water comes from your spaghetti, so it blends quickly with your sauce and doesn’t change its taste or flavor.
#4. Give a Try to Mashed Potatoes
At first, this idea might seem a bit odd to you, but it works. As you know, potatoes are loaded with starch, and therefore they work exactly like them when it comes to thickening a sauce. Before you try this method, you must know that your sauce will get a sweet potato flavor, so if you don’t mind tasting a sweet and sour sauce, this method is worth your consideration.
How to thicken spaghetti Sauce with mashed potatoes? Peel and boil one big potato, mashed it and add it to your sauce. For enhancing the taste of your sauce, you can mash potato with butter and milk. Throw in mashed potatoes in your sauce once it starts simmering and see how quickly it will change your thin sauce into a thick one.
#5. Mix it with Starch
There are many different kinds of starch you can use. People prefer cornstarch, quite often as it works as a neutral thickening agent in any recipe. However, you can go with potato starch and arrowroot as well.
How to thicken spaghetti sauce with starch? Take one tablespoon of cornstarch and dilute it in one tablespoon of water. Gradually add this mixture to your start while it is simmering and then cook it for two minutes. You will notice that starch addition starts changing the texture. Usually, one tablespoon is good enough for the sauce, but when you still see a watery texture go with another tablespoon until your sauce thickens.
#6. Add Some Breadcrumbs
In case you don’t have flour and starch, then another best thickening agent for your spaghetti sauce could be breadcrumbs. Your bread is made of flour. Therefore you can make it a part of your sauce as and when you need it. Take two bread slices and then grind them well to make fine crumbs. You can also use ready-made crumbs. Change of your sauce won’t change slightly with this addition though its texture will be a bit different from usual.
#7. Make it Yummy with Grated Cheese
When you expect some guests at your home, and you plan to serve them spaghetti, then it’s better to add grated cheese as a thickening agent. In case you are wondering why then the main reason is that cheese can make your spaghetti taste yummy, and that’s what your guest would love to eat. Isn’t it?
How to thicken spaghetti sauce with grated cheese? Take a bar of cheese, grate it, and keep it aside. Once your sauce starts simmering, add as much cheese to you (start with low quantity and add more). If you add too much, you will end up over thick sauce – which will look as bad as a runny sauce. Remember, guests are coming, and a presentable texture of your sauce matters the most.
#8. Reduce Your Sauce
In case you don’t want to change the flavor and texture of your sauce at all, this method would work for you. Instead of making your sauce in a small pan, you should try making it in a big pot or fry pan. When you cook the sauce in a concave surface pot, then it reduces quickly. Try to reduce your sauce to medium flame; never try this method at full heat- else you end up with burned or lumpy gravy. Keep stirring your sauce on low to medium heat. Once its water evaporates, then you get a smooth thick texture at the end.
#9. Make it Creamy with Heavy Cream
In case you want to mellow the acidity flavor of your tomato, you should try this method. When you don’t like traditional pasta flavor, this addition lets you taste something new and refreshing.
How to thicken spaghetti sauce with heavy cream? Take 8-10 ounces of heavy cream. One standard package of cream is good enough. You need to mix cream in your sauce when it’s neither too hot, nor too cold. Whisk your sauce continuously to avoid making lumps.
#10. Toss with Meat
You can enhance the flavor of your pasta sauce quickly through the meat. When it comes to meat choice, you have different options such as pork, turkey, beef, or sausages. The addition of meat will thicken your sauce. Once you add meat to your sauce, let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to get the best results.
Finally, you know how to thicken spaghetti sauce in ten different ways. No matter what addition you go with, make sure that you let your sauce simmer and then add any ingredient for getting some desirable results.
Also Read: How to Thicken Alfredo Sauce