3 Simple Ways to Cut the Acidity in Tomato Sauce

There are a few ways you can cut acidity in tomato sauce, and it depends on which ingredients you have on hand.
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A staple of Italian cooking and a valuable source of vitamin C, tomato sauce provides a basis for many dishes. But some tomatoes have a lot of ascorbic acid, which can contribute to stomach discomfort and bitter taste. For these reasons, many home chefs search for ways to cut acidity in tomato sauce.

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There are several ways to cut acidity in tomato sauce, and it depends on the ingredients you want to use. Some people use sugar to reduce a bitter taste, others use carrots or sweet onions to reduce acidity because they're naturally sweet. You can try any one of these simple tricks for your next home-cooked meal.

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Tip

Avoid adding red pepper flakes or any type of spice to your sauce, as these could cause an upset stomach. Instead, try fresh or dried herbs.

1. How to Cut Acidity in Tomato Sauce With Sugar

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped

  • Olive oil

  • Large pot

  • White sugar

  • Baking soda (optional)

  1. Put a large pot over the stovetop and add in fresh chopped tomatoes and olive oil. Although tomatoes are considered "high acid" vegetables, some tomatoes are now known to have a pH value a little higher than 4.6 and are naturally lower in acid, according to the National Center of Home Food Preservation.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the sauce. Stir the sugar into the sauce with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it is completely dissolved.
  3. Taste the sauce. If it is still too acidic, add another tablespoon of sugar, stir it in and taste the sauce again. It rarely takes more than 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar to correct acidic tomato sauce.
  4. Simmer your sauce for no longer than 1 1/2 hours. The longer you simmer the sauce, the more moisture evaporates and the more concentrated the tomatoes become, which may lead to a more bitter taste.
  5. Remove the sauce from heat and let sit for 40 minutes.
  6. Add a pinch of baking soda, if desired. Expect to see slight bubbling as the baking soda neutralizes the acid. Baking soda is often used to provide temporary relief of acid reflux, according to the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research.

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2. How to Cut Acidity in Tomato Sauce With Carrots

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped

  • Olive oil

  • Large pot

  • Carrots, grated

  • Blender or food processer (optional)

  • Colander or sieve (optional)

  • Baking soda (optional)

  1. Wash and grate two to three carrots, depending on how much sauce you are making.
  2. Put a large pot over the stovetop and add olive oil and fresh chopped tomatoes.
  3. Add the grated carrots to the tomato sauce. Carrots have a lot of natural sugar, which counteracts the acid in the tomato sauce as it cooks.
  4. Simmer your sauce for no longer than 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove the sauce from heat and let sit for 40 minutes.
  6. Blend the sauce in a food processor or blender to puree the carrots when the sauce is done, or strain them out with a colander or sieve.
  7. Add a pinch of baking soda, if desired. Expect to see slight bubbling as the baking soda neutralizes the acid.

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3. How to Cut Acidity in Tomato Sauce With Sweet Onions

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped

  • Olive oil

  • Large pot

  • Skillet

  • Sweet Vidalia onions, thinly sliced

  • Baking soda (optional)

  1. Peel and slice two to three Vidalia onions, depending on how much sauce you are making.
  2. Put a large pot over the stovetop and add in fresh chopped tomatoes and some olive oil.
  3. Place a small amount of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  4. Add thinly sliced sweet Vidalia onions to the skillet. The Cleveland Clinic recommends onions for those with gastroparesis, a digestive disorder that can cause acid reflux.
  5. Cook the sliced onions, stirring occasionally until transparent, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the onions into your tomato sauce.
  7. Simmer your sauce for no longer than 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Remove the sauce from heat and let sit for 40 minutes.
  9. Add a pinch of baking soda, if desired. Expect to see slight bubbling as the baking soda neutralizes the acid.

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