Everyone has their own story for how they like to make spaghetti sauce.
Some people like it chunky, some people like it smooth, and some people like theirs thinned out with a little water or broth.
It’s always good to have options, and this is one of those recipes that lends itself well to variation based on individual taste.
As a general rule of thumb, though, it’s always good to cook your sauce for a long period.
However you prefer your spaghetti sauce, these three tips will help you get the consistency that’s just right for you.
Why Consider Thickening Spaghetti Sauce?
Often, your choice on whether or not to thicken spaghetti sauce will be determined by tradition.
Some families make their spaghetti sauce thin for preference, while others stick with traditional recipes that call for thicker sauces—either way, it is just fine.
However you like it, though, here are three reasons why you should consider thickening your spaghetti sauce.
Thickened spaghetti sauces can improve the texture of the final product. If you like your sauce chunky, then by all means.
There’s nothing wrong with a spaghetti sauce that is more on the liquid side.
If you prefer to have a thick and saucy pasta, though (like meaty Bolognese style sauces), then you may want to consider thickening your sauce.
This can be done by adding a roux at the beginning of the processor by mixing in some corn starch when it’s finished cooking so that the flavor is intensified, but the texture remains smooth and even.
The choice between thin and thick will affect the flavor of the sauce.
Many people have grown up with certain recipes that call for a specific type of spaghetti sauce, and their preference is usually based on the way it tastes when they’ve had it in the past (much like how personal preference comes into play when choosing consistency).
For example, meat sauces tend to be made with chunks of meat mixed in rather than ground.
This is why you’ll usually find that meat sauces are thicker and chunkier than other kinds of spaghetti sauce.
Sauce consistency determines how the sauce will bind to pasta.
If you like thin sauce, the easiest way to get your desired texture is to cook it longer.
However, this can be a drawback if you end up overcooking the sauce and making it taste bitter or pasty.
Thick spaghetti sauces are good for those used to traditional recipes but may want a more consistent texture in their sauce than what is available from everyday cooking methods.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get the sauce consistency you want, then it’s worth considering thickening your spaghetti sauce for a more consistent texture and taste.
How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce?
First, we’ll look at the general tips that apply to all methods of thickening sauce.
These techniques can be used in conjunction with each other or on their own, depending on your taste preferences.
1 – Cook Your Sauce Longer
Of course, one of the easiest ways to thicken spaghetti sauce is by simply cooking it longer.
If you’re looking for consistency over flavor, then cooking your sauce longer is a good idea.
The extra time allows the flavors to develop and become more intense.
This can be done by simmering on low heat for an extended period or cooking in a slow cooker (if you prefer not to watch it).
2 – Use a Roux or Thickener of Choice
If you want to control the texture, thickness, and flavor of your spaghetti sauce, then it’s best to go with a pre-made thickener like corn starch or flour.
You can use this in conjunction with cooking on low or adding more sauce ingredients to get the consistency that you prefer.
3 – Add Mashed Potatoes
This is where your preference comes in.
If you’re used to spaghetti with more sauce but want it a bit thicker, then adding some mashed potatoes is usually the best way to get what you want.
This thickener helps to add flavor and texture while making your sauce a bit runnier.
It can be used in small amounts or on its own, though try to avoid using more than a few tablespoons if you want your sauce to remain chunky.
4 – Cook Pasta in the Sauce
Another way to get your desired consistency is to cook some pasta in the sauce.
This will not only thicken things up but will also infuse your sauce with the flavor of whatever kind of noodle you choose.
5 – Add Cheese or Dairy Products
Cheese and dairy products have a thickening effect on spaghetti sauces, and it’s fairly easy to add some when you’re ready to serve the meal.
You can stir in a little shredded cheese or pour milk into individual servings—there are no hard and fast rules here, so do whatever your taste buds prefer.
6 – Add Tomato Paste
You may want to use this option if you prefer a thicker consistency right from the start.
You can add more tomato paste to the sauce early on in the cooking process or choose recipes that call for it specifically (like marinara sauces).
7 – Add Ground beef or Pork
If you’re going for a meat sauce, then definitely consider adding some ground beef or pork.
This makes your sauce thicker while infusing it with the flavor of meat (a win-win situation).
Just make sure that you add enough to get the consistency you want without overpowering your other ingredients.
8 – Add Veggies
Generally speaking, veggies are good for more than just adding texture and flavor to your spaghetti sauce.
Most vegetables, including onions, celery, carrots, and squash, help thicken things up a bit as they cook in the sauce.
For this reason, it’s best to add these ingredients earlier rather than later so that you can benefit from the thickening properties.
In conclusion, spaghetti sauce is a dish that is only limited by your imagination.
Consider the suggestions above when determining how to thicken spaghetti sauce, and you will end up with an easy, tasty, and long-lasting meal that the whole family will enjoy.
Remember that you can always add more liquid to thin out the sauce if you want to make it runnier.
But this is not recommended, as the flavors will be watered down very quickly.