In this article, we will answer the question “How to reduce acidity in tomato sauce?”, and what makes tomato sauce acidic.
How to reduce acidity in tomato sauce?
The heat from cooking degrades the acidic components and brings down the acidity of the tomato sauce. Cooking is what renders the tomatoes sweeter and less tangy.
Moreover, cooking the tomato sauce reduces its volume. This concentrates all of the flavor components and not just the acidic ones. When other flavors dominate, the acidic flavor of the tomato sauce subsides to some extent.
Stir in some tomato puree
We would have suggested canned tomatoes but thy make your tomato sauce overly watery and acidic much like fresh tomatoes.
Therefore, you must try stirring some tomato puree into your tomato sauce the next time you make it. The tomato pure will thicken the sauce, and counter its acidity while imparting sweetness.
Just mix it up with some water to dilute its consistency so that it does not scorch. Start with a small quantity of tomato puree because it has a very concentrated flavor. Add more if necessary.
Season with some salt
Seasoning your tomato sauce is a great way to tone down its acidity. Just be careful with the amount of salt you add because overdoing may irreversibly ruin the taste of your sauce.
Sweeten it up
The secret to a great tomato sauce is finding the balance between sweetness and tanginess. If your tomato sauce is sharply acidic, stir in a teaspoon or two of some sugar. This would normally be enough but you can add more if needed. Always start by adding a small amount.
Add a basic ingredient
A basic ingredient such as baking soda cancels the acid in the tomato sauce in a neutralization reaction. The result is the formation of salt. Start by adding only a pinch of baking soda. In most cases, that’s all you will need. But you can add more if absolutely necessary.
Umami is the complex flavor of foods like soy sauce, steak or beef stock, etc. Most people will describe that flavor as a combination of sweet and salty. But it’s not that simple.
Crumble a beef stock cube and stir it into your acidic tomato sauce. Wait until it dissolves completely. Then taste-check the sauce to see the magic.
Throw in some butter
Fat acts as a flavor carrier and guess what it binds the acids. Butter will help neutralize the acidity of tomato sauce while imparting a rich flavor and creamy consistency to it.
Add a splash of milk
Milk cuts down the acidity in the same fashion as butter. The fat in the milk binds the acids and renders them ineffective. A splash of milk is enough to do the job. Refrain from adding too much as it can alter the taste of the tomato sauce.
The starch in the potatoes helps to absorb the acidity of the tomato sauce. Peel one potato. Wash it thoroughly and cut it into four equal parts. Place the potatoes in the tomato sauce while it cooks. Remove the potatoes after 30 minutes and discard them.
Veggies and herbs
Carrots are packed with sugars. This makes them suitable for cutting down the acidity of the tomato sauce.
Cut the carrots into whatever shape or size you want and throw them into the tomato sauce. Let it cook for about 30 minutes. Then take out the carrot pieces or strain to remove them.
Other veggies and herbs like caramelized onions, celery, basil, sage, oregano, parsley, etc can take the acidity of the tomato sauce down a notch.
Do not overdo the dried herbs as they release very strong flavors. If you opt for fresh herbs, add them towards the end of the cooking time so that they do not become bitter.
What makes tomato sauce acidic?
The acidity content of ripe and unripe tomatoes differs. The pH of mature green tomatoes comes out to be 4.63. Whereas the pH of half ripen and fully ripe tomatoes are approx. 4.37 and 4.27, respectively. Green tomatoes yield an overtly acidic tomato sauce.
In this article, we answered the question “How to reduce acidity in tomato sauce?”, and what makes tomato sauce acidic.