How And Why To Give Your Pasta Sauce A Boost Of Extra Fat

rigatoni with tomato sauce
rigatoni with tomato sauce - gowithstock/Shutterstock

Fat isn't a component you often think of when making pasta sauce, and yet it's a crucial element that can make or break the texture of your dish. In fact, a little olive oil or butter are the secret ingredients that can completely take your pasta sauce to the next level. However, certain types may need an extra boost, and there's a right time and method for adding fat that allow you to create the best final product overall.

If you get near the end of your cooking and realize your sauce is a little watery, incorporating some more fat is the perfect way to make it thicker and silkier, without turning it into a full-on paste. It's worth noting that you won't want to incorporate extra fat in every pasta sauce, however. Rich, creamy recipes like Alfredo and cacio e pepe already have plenty of it. Where this strategy will shine is in lighter, tomato-based sauces, such as white wine or roasted tomato sauce, which can easily veer thin and drippy if you're not careful.

Read more: 26 Types Of Pasta Sauce Explained

Fat Turns A Thin Sauce Into A Velvety Delight

tomato sauce in a bowl
tomato sauce in a bowl - Goskova Tatiana/Shutterstock

Most recipes, like our special Italian Sunday sauce, start off by heating a little olive oil or butter in a pan, but in this case, we're talking about using fat again toward the end of the cooking process. While you can go for either oil or butter, there are a few good reasons to opt for the latter. Butter helps balance out acidic components like tomatoes and onions, without the added flavor notes from olive oil.

It only takes a pat of butter or a quick swig of olive oil, but your pasta will easily transform from a watery one into a rich, tasty meal. First, you'll want to heat up your sauce, whether you've whipped it up yourself or are just using a pre-made jar from the store. Plop your cooked noodles in the pan, and add some of the liquid gold known as pasta water. Only then should you incorporate your additional butter or olive oil. Stir well so that everything melts and mixes together nicely. Why is this the best way to incorporate an extra boost of fat into your pasta? The starches from the water create an emulsion with your fat of choice, which allows the two to mix together smoothly and makes for a creamier, more luxurious sauce. Once everything is mixed together, simmer your sauced noodles so the extra heat can properly emulsify the fat.

Read the original article on Tasting Table