What to do with a very hot, very thick pasta sauce?
August 18, 2016 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Started making a very spicy pasta sauce and ended up going to the movies. Now I have something resembling very hot salsa but with the herbs of pasta sauce. How do I salvage this?

I started making pasta sauce, ended up going to the movies so I covered the pot and turned it to the lowest oven setting. Ended up reducing very nicely but a bit too much - it resembles salsa consistency along with the heat of it (wife likes very hot stuff so not an issue there) but the herbs make it taste like a good pasta sauce but there is also clearly a habanero/jalapeno taste to it. I've tried using it both as pizza and pasta sauce, and it's acceptable but not great. I'd like to at least bump it up to the good category.

My idea is to make some roasted tomato sauce and just mix it all in then let it sit for 24-48 hours in the fridge to let the flavors blend but I'm not sure if that will be enough.

My question - is there a better use for this hybrid sauce or what are your thoughts on how to salvage it?
posted by lpcxa0 to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Stuffed peppers? With mushrooms/breadcrumbs or meat/breadcrumbs and topped with the spicy sauce.
posted by pintapicasso at 2:34 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Have you tried just adding water to get the desired consistency? It sounds like you've made essentially a pasta sauce "concentrate" and you should be able to un-concentrate it by adding back the water that was cooked out.
posted by rainbowbrite at 2:36 PM on August 18, 2016 [22 favorites]

Ooh, stuffed peppers! Use a mix of water & the sauce to cook the rice in, stuff your peppers, then glaze the top of the peppers with your sauce instead of ketchup.
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:43 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

You could add the water from a pan after you have boiled pasta - that should dilute it a bit, and thicken it up a bit.
posted by carter at 2:44 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

If not water, maybe some fresh or barely-cooked tomatoes, to give it back that fresher flavor? Maybe some fresh basil and onion, a splash of olive oil, dash of lemon/balsamic, and a sprinkle of sugar to wake it back up.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:45 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Eggs in Purgatory - similar to Shakshuka but more along the lines of a spicy Italian sauce. Eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce, eaten on toast.

I originally found this recipe (Eggs in Hell) from a book called How To Cook A Wolf, which was apparently written for cooking with limited rations and home-grown food in wartime.
posted by lizbunny at 3:04 PM on August 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

Thicker sauces are often really nice with potato gnocchi.
posted by iamfantastikate at 3:11 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would sautee up a bunch of onion, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms, add a big dash of cream and a generous dollop of that sauce and serve over rotini
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:22 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Drop a stick blender in it and then add some heavy cream, blend again, and ship it to me. I will put it on DiCecco pasta and eat it with gusto. TIA.
posted by ftm at 3:28 PM on August 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

I would add a can of tomato sauce if the only problem is it reduced too much.
posted by cecic at 3:33 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'd blend some fresh tomato in, this is fairly close to something I do intentionally out of Serious Eats' take on slow-cooked red sauce where I heavily reduce one portion of sauce and then return some fresh tomato at the end to mix the jammy flavor with the fresh flavor.
posted by CrystalDave at 3:52 PM on August 18, 2016

You could make lasagna or a pasta casserole and use a thin spread of it as one of the layers.
posted by Candleman at 4:45 PM on August 18, 2016

posted by Toddles at 5:22 PM on August 18, 2016

If you want to dial down the heat, add some sugar.
posted by adamrice at 6:25 PM on August 18, 2016

posted by ryanbryan at 6:50 PM on August 18, 2016

I don't agree with these suggestions - I would suggest adding heavy cream until it becomes delicious.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:08 PM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Why not divide it in half, or fourths even, freeze what you don't need right now, and use the rest as as a base for making a new sauce. Add tomato paste/tomato sauce and add seasonings 'til you get back to where you originally wanted to be.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 8:21 PM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd put cilantro in it- lots. And use it as a salsa sort of topping. And cumin maybe. And put it over nachos with an avocado.

Or cream. Lots. And use it as a pasta topping.
posted by slateyness at 9:49 PM on August 18, 2016

You're within spitting distance of something like jambalaya, though tomato's not an authentic ingredient it'll taste fine in a dish like that. You can cut it down with chicken or veggie stock or a really wet recipe of rice. Give it a day in the fridge to marry to the rice and any cooked meat (sausage, shrimp, chicken, or all three!) you care to add (in moderation-- with all you have going on, a 4oz/person serving of meat would be generous).
posted by Sunburnt at 9:57 PM on August 18, 2016

Add some cumin and use it as enchilada sauce.
posted by slogger at 6:55 AM on August 19, 2016

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