The Cooking Method That Guarantees Flavorful Spaghetti Sauce Fast

The smell of garlic and basil fills the air, splashes of red cover the counter, and the soft sounds of tomato sauce sputtering murmurs through the kitchen; these are just some of the joys associated with a slow simmering tomato sauce. It's a romantic scene usually associated with Italian nonne (grandmothers) and slow Sundays that ultimately end with long strands of spaghetti coated in classic red sauce.

As wonderful as this scene and a slow-simmered tomato sauce may be, it's not a reality for many of us who can't spend all day tending to a delicate tomato sauce. As Foodiosity points out, tomato sauce can burn fairly easily if it is left unattended because most of the moisture cooks off. This makes for a more concentrated tomato paste that can easily burn on the bottom of a pot and put all those hours of simmering to waste. This will produce a bitter flavor in your tomato sauce, and while it can be fixed, it makes the prospect of long cooking times less desirable for many. 

However, Thrillist claims that there are other methods to make comparable tomato sauces in a fraction of the time. The publication says that a good sauce can be made in less than 20 minutes by stirring it vigorously over high heat. The ensuing splatter from the sauce might paint your kitchen red, but luckily, a less messy option is available.

Try using a pressure cooker

If you want to make your own spaghetti sauce at home in a fraction of the time that it usually takes, all you need is a pressure cooker. Serious Eats says that a pressure cooker can transform a simple tomato sauce into a rich Sunday gravy that tastes like it's been simmered all day in roughly 45 minutes. The reason for this is that pressure cookers are sealed off, which creates a highly temperature-controlled environment. This means that when it is set to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the entirety of the sauce inside will be at that temperature while it cooks. Instead of conducting heat from the air (like in an oven), or only from the bottom (like on a stove), this process is much faster, and will give a complex, caramelized final product in less than an hour.

Serious Eats does point out that moisture won't cook off the same way it does if you were making it on the stove or in an oven. This will give you a fresher flavor, but you can add your own umami boost with fish sauce, or by chopping up a couple of anchovies, per Thrillist. Just be sure to start off with the best quality whole canned tomatoes, and let the pressure cooker do all the hard work.