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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Watery tomato sauce (Turkey Meatballs)

    I made the Turkey Meatballs from the "Kitchen" cookbook and found that the sauce turned out very watery. I had added the 2x cans of chopped tomatoes and the additional 2x filled cans of water to the sauce but I found it lacked in taste so I had to add some pasta sauce to thicken it! Can you suggest where I may have gone wrong? I made sure I added the correct amounts of the other ingredients but found I was adding a lot more salt to make it tastier. Im not sure if anyone else has experienced this problem before? Many thanks Carly

    From the nigella team:

    Unfortunately we have found that the liquid in chopped (diced) canned or tinned tomatoes does vary across brands. We would suggest trying to find cans which are labelled as "in rich tomato juice" as these seem to have a thicker, richer juice compared with the ones labelled as simply "in tomato juice". 

    If you do find that your canned tomatoes are slightly watery then try replacing some of the water with tomato puree (paste). Reduce the added water by around 60ml (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons) and add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree per can of water (400ml/400g/14 ounces). If the sauce is still too thin then you may also ned to simmer it for an extra 10-20 minutes to get a thicker consistency.

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