Thickening Spaghetti sauce : LUSENET : Cooking & Crafts : One Thread

I like to can lots of sauce, but have a hard time getting that super thick texture that is in the store bought sauces. I don't want to use tomato paste, as I would have to actually "buy" it!!! Usually I put it in a roaster in the oven overnight to let it cook down, but it still isn't really thick.

This morning I posted some spice mixture recipes on Country Families, and in the spaghetti sauce recipe it mentions using corn starch. I had never thougth of this to thicken the sauce. Has anyone tried it, does it affect the taste a lot? Is it a "healthy" ingredient? What do you all think????

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, April 04, 2002


Here is the recipe. I would have to make a lot of this for the amounts of sauce I can. Generally I try to do 14-21 quarts at a time. I have 3 canners and will get them all going at once...

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, April 04, 2002.

Sorry, I hit contribute too soon!


* 1 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion, * 1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley leaves, crushed, * 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, * 1 teaspoon dried green pepper flakes, * 3/4 teaspoon salt, * 1/8 teaspoon dried minced garlic, * 1/2 teaspoon ground basil, * 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, * 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano,

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, April 04, 2002.

"Cornstarch" is healthy unless you are sensitive to corn or are a diabetic and do not tolerate starches very well.

Cornstarch is used to thicken pie fillings, gravies, etc. Canned cherry pie filling is thickened with cornstarch. Most "clear" thickened foods use cornstarch.

Cooking down the sauce would be better. Better yet is to use less water added to the tomatoes. Some tomatoes are more juicy than others, much depending on the ripeness.

-- Marie (, April 04, 2002.

One of the many advantages of using cornstarch is that it adds no taste. To use cornstarch as a thickner in hot foods, add water to the cornstarch to make a soupy mixture and gradually add it to the hot food stiring constantly. Another advantage to cornstarch is that it works immediately and you don't have to boil your hot food to get results like you do with flour. As long as your hot food is really hot it will work perferct everytime and never a lump!

In your case, I have to agree with Marie. I think you just have too much water content going. Try draining or squeezing your tomatoes drier. If you already are doing that, then your variety of tomatoes have too much water content. Roma type tomatoes are the sauce tomatoes. The regular slicing tomatoes don't work as well. They are developed to be juicy; roma's are developed for cooking.

I would either, bring the sauce to a boil on TOP of the stove (oven's just don't let the moisture out very well) until you get the required consistancy or use tomatoe paste. Paste is cheap and does add to the flavor.

-- Karen (, April 04, 2002.

If it doesn't add any off taste, I think I will try it. I don't want to use paste because I always have tons of tomatoes! I have cooked it on top of the stove and even over a wood fire outside, but it takes sooooo long... I will try a small batch and see how it works out.

You are probably right about the tomato varieties. I plant about 10- 12 different types, Romas included, but also many other kinds as well. I just pick everything that is ripe, that we don't eat immediately and start canning. While Roma's are thicker, they are not very tasty compared to some of the heirloom varieites that we love... I will have to try a few things and see if I can get it really thick. Mostly I want it thick for pizza, as if it is not, it soaks into the crust which we don't like.

Thanks for the tips on mixing it in!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, April 04, 2002.

Hi there, Parmesean cheese will thicken spagetti sauce if you add it just before its done. You dont want to can it or over cook it but it will thicken and add a good flavor. Blessings Peggy

-- peggy (, April 04, 2002.

OR.... make your own paste like me. I take plum tomatoes, peel seed chop and cook down till its sauce. Then you put it in the crockpot for a day or too, on low, till its as thick as you want. The more you cook the thicker it gets. It takes awile, but I can them in 4oz jelly jars, just like tomatoe sauce for timing in the canning process. This works great for me... maybe it will help you.

-- Kristean Thompson (, April 04, 2002.

Here's what we do to get a thick tomato puree to can: after making the sauce (puree), we line a colander with a piece of muslin, fill it with the sauce, and let it drain until it's the thickness we want. I doesn't take too long. Then put it in jars and process it, or freeze it. It stays bright red, and one of the judges at our county fair said it was the prettiest color she'd ever seen. I've also done this with a really fine sieve, unlined.

-- Marcia in MT (, April 05, 2002.

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