How to Thicken Tomato Sauces

Written by monica patrick
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How to Thicken Tomato Sauces
Create a heartier pizza sauce with thickened tomato sauce. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

A rich, flavourful tomato sauce is the base ingredient for many types of cuisine, including Italian and Mexican. One challenge faced by chefs and home cooks is working with runny, watery sauce. A thick, hearty sauce will cling to pasta, meats and vegetables easier than a thinner variety. You can thicken the consistency of fresh tomato sauces; even bottled sauces thicken with the right ingredients and cooking techniques. Give a thin tomato purée a thicker body and deeper flavour by enhancing its consistency.

Pour the tomato sauce into a non-stick skillet along with 1 tbsp olive oil. Simmer the sauce on low heat, with the skillet lid on, until the sauce thickens. Stir the sauce with a wooden spoon every 2 to 3 minutes to keep it from sticking. The sauce should thicken in 15 to 30 minutes.

Spoon in 2 to 3 tbsp of tomato paste. Blend the paste into the sauce using a wooden spoon. Allow the paste to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it simmers.

Pour 1 tbsp cornstarch into 1/4 cup of cold water. Mix the two together. Stir the cornstarch liquid into the simmering sauce, stirring as you pour. Continue to simmer and stir until the sauce thickens.

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