Homemade Marinara Sauce is so Easy to Make…So what did I do wrong?
Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend and are having a great day today!
I made some homemade marinara sauce recently, which is something I’ve always wanted to do! It’s supposed to be super simple to make, but for some reason, I had trouble when it came time to simmer the sauce, and I don’t know why! Perhaps all you awesome foodies and cooks out there can help me figure out what I did wrong?! Thanks!
I used this recipe
for the homemade marinara sauce, and here’s the prep work and step-by-step process.
Now, to make the marinara sauce, the recipe called for stewed tomatoes, which you would then blend with other ingredients to make a smooth marinara sauce. Some reviewers suggested using diced tomatoes instead so that you really wouldn’t have to blend everything together. However, I decided to use the stewed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes because some of the reviewers pointed out that stewed tomatoes have more flavor than diced tomatoes.
Then I roughly chopped the stewed tomatoes to get them a bit smaller in size. The reviewers suggested doing this so that you wouldn’t have to blend everything together; instead, you can just leave everything as is for a chunky marinara sauce.
Added everything to the soup pot:
Added some more ingredients:
Added some chicken broth (instead of the white wine, per the suggestions of some reviewers, since that’s what we had on hand! Recipe reviews and ingredient substitutions/suggestions are the best!):
Okay, so this looks simple enough to make, right?! Yeah, all those steps were simple, it was the actual cooking process that I had trouble with!
So, you are supposed to let the whole thing simmer for 30 minutes. I thought, no problem! Ummm, big problem, and I’m not really sure why!
I had put all the ingredients into a pretty big pot, so they only came up to about 1/4 of the way up the pot. So even if it boiled rapidly or something, that wouldn’t have been a problem because it would have room to do so without overflowing or anything. Well, it turns out that the size of the soup pot didn’t matter much!
I was supposed to simmer the marinara sauce for 30 minutes, so I put the heat on the lowest setting possible – I couldn’t turn it down any lower or else the heat wouldn’t even be on! Now, when you simmer something, you can usually just leave the sauce/soup alone for a bit and come back to stir it every once in a while, right?! Well, ummm, not in this case! I had to stir the marinara sauce for the whole entire time! Why?! Because for some reason, the sauce was going crazy! Seriously, if I left the sauce alone for even a second, it would make these huge bubbles that would just burst and splatter sauce everywhere! What on earth! The only way to prevent this from happening was to constantly stir the sauce!
And no, I did not put a cover on the pot because I was afraid that would make things even worse! Even if I didn’t put the lid tightly on the pot and vented it a little, I was afraid the sauce would bubble too much and pop the lid off the pot! Why? Well because I actually aways have this same problem when heating spaghetti sauce on the stove! I always heat the spaghetti sauce in a small pot, and will place a lid on top of it while trying to vent it a little at the same time, but the sauce just keeps making these big bubbles that burst and splatter sauce everywhere! And if you put the lid tightly on the pot, the sauce will do the same thing – make huge bubbles that burst and start to pop the lid off the pot! And I always have the heat on the lowest possible setting when heating the spaghetti sauce, so I don’t know why this happens!
Oh, and I might add that this only has happened with the spaghetti sauce and the marinara sauce - every time I make anything else in these pots, this doesn’t happen! It only happens with tomato sauce! For instance, when I make chili in the big pot, this doesn’t happen. And when I heat broth-based soups like chicken noodle soup, and thick cream-based soups, like clam chowder in the small pot, they don’t go all crazy like the spaghetti sauce!
So what am I doing wrong?! Does anybody know?! Thanks for any and all feedback!
Anyway, I stirred the whole thing for 30 minutes! Man, my arms got quite a workout! Oh, and I probably should have turned the heat off at 15 minutes, because that’s when the sauce was actually done, you know, because it actually had the taste and texture of marinara sauce! It was kind of like a chunky marinara sauce since I chose not to blend it to make it smooth. The texture was fine that way! And the taste was pretty good – you could definitely taste the parsley and oregano! So the marinara sauce was probably done and ready after 15 minutes of heating on the stove. But because I was constantly stirring it, and wasn’t sure if it was actually simmering or not, I wanted to make sure to heat it for the full 30 minutes. Bad idea! The sauce was reduced down to a very thick texture, kind of like a dip, not a sauce anymore!
But not all was lost! It actually tasted pretty good, although it had a much stronger tomato taste than before when it was just the sauce. It tasted mostly like a tomato paste dip with some spices rather than a marinara sauce with lots of spices. Oh well! I still ate it!
Yeah, I know, it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but at that point, I didn’t even care! So long as it tasted good, I was happy!
Okay, so that’s all for today, folks!
Hope you all have a good rest of the afternoon and a good night!