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Dec 5, 2007 09:01 AM

Help with my homemade marinara sauce...

Hi, I usually make my own marinara sauce with canned San Marzano tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery and fresh basil. But everytime I make it and refridgerate it, it is so watery. I have been having to strain it before using it, and I usually strain it a whole day in the fridge. I am not adding extra water to my sauce when I make it. I am using Lidia Bastinanich's recipe. Why is it so watery? Should I not be adding the tomato liquid from the can when making my sauce? Does anyone have a great basic marinara sauce? I love the taste of fresh basil with it...Thanks for your help!!

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  1. Add ~1T of tomato paste per quart of sauce. If you saute the veggies, add the tomato paste to the saute when the veggies are almost done.

    1. I never put carrots and celery in my sauce. For me it's because that's what my mother and grandmother did. But they also have a lot of water in them. Are you cooking it long enough? Maybe it needs to reduce down longer?

      1. you can try it with reserving the liquid and adding it bit by bit as it thickens. You can also let it simmer with the lid off so the liquid will evaporate.

        2 Replies
        1. re: brycol1

          Thank you so much for all your ideas and help. I do simmer the sauce for about an hour uncovered, so maybe next time I will try not to add the liquid. Thanks again!

          1. re: shu.girl

            My sauce is never watery but I simmer it for 3 hours and usually make 20 quarts at a time.

        2. I think adding the liquid is just fine. Fresh tomatoes give up a lot of their water when making a sauce too. The thing you need to do is simmer the sauce very slowly, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Marcella Hazan's method works beautifully. Here is her recipe which I used with fresh tomatoes back in Sept.

          It's very easy and just focuses on the essense of the tomato. Adding in basil after the sauce is made and run through a food mill would be lovely.

          1. I used to have the same problem, and I started to oven roast the tomatoes before I added them to the sauce. Just cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and some garlic if you like it. Let them cook until they are wrinkly on top and have lost a lot of their liquid (the salt helps with this as well) and then add to your sauce. I think I put the oven at like 350* or maybe 400*. You'll get all the flavor of the tomato without the hassle of having to cook the sauce down.

            FYI, this method works well with grocery store plum tomatoes, which can be much less expensive than San Marzanos.