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Is it possible to cook a marinara sauce too long?

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Quick question. I made a large batch of marinara sauce yesterday for serving today, and I will have a couple of hours where I can stick it on the back burner (it was in pretty good shape last night). Is there any downside to cooking it longer?

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  1. yes, you would get tomato paste.

    1. Yes, if it's fine now, then why would you want to cook it any longer? The flavor would only deteriorate too. I cook my tomato sauce as little as possible, even when using canned tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, then I measure my cooking time in a few minutes.

      1. If the heat is low, the sauce will thicken by evaporation if not covered, but it will not affect it in a negative way, unless it burns on the bottom.

        I simmer my red sauce 6-8 hours on a very lower burner.

        1. Absolutely. You lose all nuance. The less time you cook a marinara, the more vibrant the flavors and the fresher it tastes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MakingSense

            Yes, indeed.

            But isn't there a perfect balancing point of cooking time? Too little, and you have warm salsa. Too long, and you have pizza sauce.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Isn't "salsa" a Spanish word for sauce? Marinara is the quickest Italian sauce.

          2. If you put it over the lowest possible heat, covered, on that back burner, you're not cooking it more, just reheating. It'll be fine.

            1. The way to check if marinara is done: Put a spoonful on a plate, tip it and see if any water runs off. If not, it's done.