How long can you leave spaghetti sauce on the stove?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How long can you leave spaghetti sauce on the stove? We will tell you how long you should cook a sauce, how not to burn it, and also give you a few basic tips to prepare a delicious spaghetti sauce.

How long can you leave spaghetti sauce on the stove?

How long you can leave spaghetti sauce on the stove will depend on the amount of sauce you are cooking. For the sauce to be made the tomato must lose all the water and “fry in the oil.” This is achieved with low heat so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. 

So be patient and stir a lot until you get a paste. The point where to turn off the fire will tell you experience and your personal taste.

As a guideline: for two kilos of tomato, the cooking time can take more than one hour.

With any type of ‘stewed’ sauce, the flavor improves the longer it is cooked (as long as it is a slow and smooth process). The longer you leave it, the more chance the flavors have to ‘join’. Some recipes for spaghetti sauce require six hours of slow cooking!

You may have also noticed in the past that the pasta sauce you ate the next day is really good, for the same reason as before. Any stew, in fact, like bolognese, casserole, chili, bourguignon, etc., is really delicious when left overnight and reheated.

It depends on the sauce and the result you want.

Also, meatless tomato-based sauces can be really good when cooked for a maximum of 15 minutes. This way you get a fresh summery flavor that makes the most of good tomatoes with maybe just basil and garlic for a fuller flavor. This also applies when any vegetable wants to remain thick.

Creamy or white sauces don’t need to cook much either and a pesto doesn’t need to cook at all!

A Ragu or other meat sauce, however, is sure to benefit from a longer cooking period, depending on how hungry you are.

By the way, Corsican beef is amazing if you have the patience to cook it long enough. I recommend serving it with a very good quality large pasta. Too many people spend years in the sauce and use cheap pasta. 

How do you keep spaghetti sauce from burning?

To keep spaghetti sauce from burning, it is good to cook it without a lid, even if it splashes a little, and you have to have a lot of patience. The flame must be kept low to cook everything in the best possible way, and you have to mix to prevent the sauce from burning on the bottom.

Making spaghetti sauce might seem straightforward, especially for pasta lovers, but in reality, it is not as simple as it might seem. First of all, because with sauce, we might mean different things, namely the classic tomato sauce, or the ragù – certainly more elaborate and tasty – or finally, just a simple sauce. 

The basics of making a good spaghetti sauce

In this article, we want to provide you with the basics for preparing a spaghetti sauce so that it is both delicious and doesn’t burn. Let’s see together then, how to make the sauce:

Suppose we intend to use a tomato sauce or puree that has already been prepared in the previous months, which only needs short cooking. In that case, we will certainly obtain a more intense and genuine flavor, vice versa; if we do not have it, we can still fall back on a puree or peeled tomatoes in a jar, usually buying them at the supermarket.

Let’s pay attention to this step: cooking the tomato puree is a different operation from the standard heating procedure; even when we buy puree or sauce ready from the supermarket, we should not limit ourselves to heating it and using it, but cooking it properly. 

Let’s proceed step by step; first of all, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in the pan with a clove of garlic cut in half or with onion (it depends a little on the tastes, a little on the quality of the sauce). Let the garlic or onion brown, being careful not to burn anything because the sauce would be affected. 

Now it’s time to pour our tomato sauce. Raise the heat and add a pinch of salt, a pinch of white sugar to eliminate the acid taste, a little more oil, and some fresh basil, without breaking the leaf. We can also add pepper or chili to taste. Low flame and stir very often.

How to prepare a spaghetti sauce: step-by-step


  • 1 kilo of ripe red tomatoes 
  • 100 milliliters of extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to do it:

1. Make a shallow cross-shaped cut in the bottom of the red tomatoes.

2. Heat the red tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds or as soon as the skin begins to peel off. Remove immediately from the heat and place in ice water to stop cooking.

3. Cut the red tomatoes (tomatoes) in half, remove the seeds and chop. Place in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Add the oil and basil, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve!

Final thoughts

There is perhaps no more straightforward recipe than spaghetti with tomato sauce. Cook the spaghetti, add the sauce, and enjoy your easy meal!

Fast and effective. That’s all we ask of a recipe for an evening meal after a hard day’s work. This tomato sauce recipe will appeal to children and adults alike. Now that we’ve got you covered, it’s time to cook!

If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions on the content, please let us know!



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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