You can never have too much sauce. The right sauce can turn something as simple as a bowl of steamed vegetables into an extraordinary meal, but most recipes seem to underestimate the amount needed to achieve such a transformation. When you find a sauce that really blows your mind, you should immediately — without pausing for consideration — double the recipe.
From a meal prep perspective, the benefits of stocking your fridge and freezer with extra sauce are obvious. If Past You already made a delicious sauce, Present You doesn’t have to; whether it’s a slow-simmering a bolognese or simply whisking some condiments together, there’s one less task standing between you and dinner. Plus, sauces can generally be frozen and reheated without changing their flavour or texture, which gives them a serious edge over other leftovers.
Doubling sauce recipes will also make you a better cook. I’m completely serious: Sauces should always be seasoned to taste, so their ingredient ratios are more of a jumping-off point for negotiations than a strict set of rules. If you’re used to following recipes to the letter, making and seasoning a double batch of your favourite sauce is an excellent way to ease into experimentation — which will give you the confidence to keep trying new spices, seasonings, and salt contents.
Very few sauces can’t be made in advance, so the best place to start is wherever you want. I make massive batches of red sauce because all of my comfort foods — pizza, eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs — involve red sauce and cheese. (My go-to recipe is the same one I use for stuffed crust pizza.) Spicy peanut sauce is another house favourite, as is the classic stir-fry seasoning blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and Shaoxing wine. Mixing condiments together doesn’t take long, but if I’m not simultaneously rushing to get my stir-fry mise en place sorted I can spend a little extra time perfecting the sauce’s flavour balance. Don’t limit yourself to standalone sauces, either; my favourite recipe for pressure-cooked butter chicken has you set aside half of the gravy for a future batch, which is genius.
Even if you’re change-averse, making extra sauce will quickly become habit because it makes future meals that much easier to throw together. So, the next time you try a recipe with a fantastic sauce, make a note to double it — you’ll be so happy you did.
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