Reducing The Acid In Tomato Sauce

June 26th, 2008 | Posted in Food Info, Food Prep, Odds & Ends, Quick Tips, Sauces | Comments Off

Tomato sauce and by extension pasta sauce, pizza sauce and many others that are based on a tomato sauce. They’re all great, however there is one drawback for some people. The Tomato is basically an acidic plant and sauces made from it are going to be acidic. While this isn’t a problem for most people, there’s plenty of people that have indigestion or Acid Reflux that’s aggravated enough by the acid content to seriously cut into their enjoyment of the meal.

I spent a bunch of time over the last several days searching out ways in which to cut the acid and learned a few things. A few of which will help.

The first thing I found was a suggestion to add a couple teaspoons of sugar to the sauce as it cooks down. This is one that I’ve tried recently and regretted doing so. Sugar MIGHT cut acid a little but mostly what it does is add sweetness to the taste and a sweet pasta sauce is not something I ever want to make again. I honestly don’t think that sugar actually gets rid of any acid, it just tries to mask it with the sweet taste. Not good in a tomato sauce.

Another suggestion was sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda. When the sauce is near the end of the cooking process and most of the juices are gone, add a VERY little bit, Just enough to fit on the point of a steak knife. Stir it into the sauce. You’ll see a lot of small white bubbles all over. They are caused by a chemical reaction that actually nutralizes some of the acid in the sauce. When the bubbles subside taste the sauce to check both for acidity and any change to the taste. If you need to add a bit more baking soda you can but caution is the word of the day. Best to do this in very small steps because once you add it in you can’t take any of it back out.

The third idea is one that as a cheese lover I kinda like. Add grated cheese. Parmesan cheese (the real stuff, Parmigiano-Reggiano) or a little Pecorino (a very strong cheese), even ricotta cheese will reduce the acid in tomato sauces and add their own flavors. This works because cheese contains calcium which has a chemical reaction with the acid that nutralizes some of it.

A suggestion I read somewhere on discusscooking.com was to add a whole potato to the sauce while cooking it and remove before serving. I’m not sure how this would work but it’s probably got something to do with the starches in the potato. Another comment on that site suggested adding a carrot to the sauce. Someone else suggested adding a bit of vinegar, though I can’t see how vinegar which is more acidic would help cut acid from tomato sauce

Technorati Tags: cheese, reduce acid, parmigiano reggiano, tomato sauce, baking soda, acid reducer, nutralize acid, calcium, pecorino, sodium bicarbonate, ricotta, tomato

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