Lidia Bastianich’s trick for stretching pasta sauce

A shortage of pasta sauce calls for drastic measures. If you realize you haven’t made enough sauce, Lidia Bastianich says you can stretch it by adding pasta water to the mixture (via Today). She recommends pouring a little leftover pasta water into the sauce mixture and cooking it over low heat until the liquid is completely absorbed by the pasta. This will give you more sauce for those naked noodles.

serious eating also recommend the pasta water and sauce combo to stretch the amount of sauce you have. The site explains that pasta releases starch into boiling water, which helps thicken the sauce. Empty the pasta sauce into a saucepan to simmer. Next, pour a few cups of pasta water into the boiling pasta pot and let it cool. Add the water to the empty sauce pot, shake it, then pour it into the simmering sauce on the stove. The starch will thicken and create more sauce.

Looking for more ways to stretch your sauce? The pioneer woman says you can enhance the sauce by adding olive oil, fresh garlic, ground sausage or beef, red pepper, red wine, herbs, cheeses and cream or butter. These additions turn a bland sauce into a flavorful, rich sauce in an instant. They also make it more filling and satisfying. So next time you’re in a hurry and need more sauce, follow Lidia Bastianich’s sassy tip.