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How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

Ask Kary: My spaghetti sauce is always too thin. I like a nice thick sauce, but I can’t seem to achieve this?

I loved this question from last month’s Facebook Q&A, so much so I thought I’d explain the answer in more detail.

How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

To thicken a spaghetti sauce, you must reduce, reduce, reduce!

In cookery, ‘reduce’ means “to make (a sauce, stock, etc) more concentrated by boiling away some of the water in it.”

Here’s how to thicken spaghetti sauce: let it simmer, uncovered, until the desired thickness is achieved. The sauce will reduce as the water evaporates, thickening the sauce’s consistency and concentrating its flavour.

You can control how fast spaghetti sauce thickens by controlling the temperature it simmers at and how much water you allow to escape.

To reduce a sauce quickly, boil it with the lid off (be careful of splatter!). To slow down the reduction, lower the heat while still keeping the pan uncovered. To slow it down even more, cover the slightly simmering sauce with a lid, but keep it slightly ajar – this will decrease the amount of vapor able to escape. If you don’t want the spaghetti sauce to reduce at all, cover it with a lid over low heat. The lid will trap the water that’s trying to escape and the water will drop back down into the sauce.

Remember, if you thicken spaghetti sauce too much you can always add water or pasta water to loosen it back up.

Hope this helps!

xx k.