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Is it possible to cook a marinara sauce too long?

b
BabyLitigator Dec 21, 2007 01:25 PM

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?

  1. h
    howchow Dec 21, 2007 02:47 PM

    yes, you would get tomato paste.

    1. e
      Ellen Dec 21, 2007 03:01 PM

      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. k
        Kelli2006 Dec 21, 2007 06:48 PM

        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. m
          MakingSense Dec 21, 2007 09:41 PM

          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
            ipsedixit Dec 21, 2007 09:50 PM

            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
              m
              MakingSense Dec 22, 2007 08:52 AM

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

          2. OldDog Dec 21, 2007 10:27 PM

            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. coll Dec 22, 2007 02:36 AM

              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.

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