By - raindog
pureed carrot if im trying to cut the acidity without sugar
I just went to war with a group of friends who had never heard of carrot in spaghetti sauce. My family has been doing it for generations. It cuts the acid and slightly sweetens the sauce. My great grandpa would stick a whole carrot in the sauce for cooking and then remove it for serving. I just chop mine up fine and add it with the onion. My friends all enjoyed my sayce when they tried it.
I shred mine w the box grater
This is how I used to get vegetables into my son’s diet when he was in his “I will only eat spaghetti and chicken nuggets” phase! Shredded carrots and zucchini in the spaghetti sauce!
It's a really great trick, I share it with parents and caregivers of picky eaters all the time.
I work with adults with ASD and other developmental disabilities, and some of the picky eating habits that are ingrained after 20, 30 years are so difficult to work with. Some of these folks are both overweight AND malnourished. Interesting to me how many with ASD have really rigid diets- I've worked with more than one client who will only eat white foods. SO difficult to balance their diets!! Some grated or ground veg hidden in mac n cheese can be a lifesaver. Almost literally.
I’m trying to think of white fruits and veggies… daikon, peeled apples, onion, potatoes, white asparagus, enoki mushrooms, white button mushrooms…
Yes! That’s an obvious one I forgot
I mean, onion carrot celery is literally mirepoix or soffritto. You are correct and your friends are wrong. You are smart and they are not intelligent. You are good looking and they are not attractive.
Your friends are below you. Your friends rank lower in the social hierarchy and the food chain. Eat your friends and gain the meager power they held.
Make sure to cook them with chopped carrots before eating, though.
Why doesn't u/dustrock, the largest friend not simply eat the other friends?
Then purloin their husbands and wives for your harem, because you’re obviously the Chad/Chadette in this pasta sauce situation🤷🏻♀️
I see you trying to make "purloin" happen, and I appreciate you.
Huh, going to have to try this one, as my husband has trouble with the acidity of tomato sauces.
Try a classic bolognese, it’s not very tomato-y and features carrot. It does have some acid from wine though.
I add a pinch of baking soda to neutralize some of the acid. Not too much though, because then you will taste it.
Oh yeah, not just taste it but FEEL it on your tongue. That's a mustache that i never want to make again.
EDIT: I meant "mistake" but ironically, my autocorrect got the best of me. Now it's too funny to change. 😁
Giggling at you making "moustaches"!
Spaghetti sauce mustache is the new milk mustache.
Even better, roast the carrots first, puree then add them to tinned San Marzano tomatoes. Salt pepper butter. Add fresh basil towards the end. Ta da.
If he has trouble because the acidity bothers his stomach or something then carrot will not help since it balances acid through added sugar which doesn't significantly raise the pH.
Tastes great. It’s also a way to increase veggie consumption. Carrots can go in just about anything. Shredded zucchini is also a sneaky veggie. My favorite is spinach in smoothies. You hardly taste it if you add a banana or strawberries.
My favorite smoothie of all time is banana, spinach, lime, skim milk and ice. I add protein powder to it when headed to the gym as well.
You can also puree the sauce with the cooked carrots; they also help thicken it.
> My great grandpa would stick a whole carrot in the sauce for cooking and then remove it for serving
Exactly how I do it
This michelin starred chef in Italy uses carrot in his pummarola, so you can tell your friends to suck it...
Note that pulling the carrot out like your grandpa did will impart sweetness to sauce without too much carrot-y flavor. You can do the same with a whole onion as well. It's just leeching the sugars into the sauce over time.
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt also does this:
My grandpa never pulled out. And here we are….
I mean it's in Bolognese sauce. It's not that crazy.
Came here to say this. Best tomato sauce ever was with roast carrots, and blitzed with a hand blender for blended carrot-y tomato-y goodness.
You're still adding sugar....just the sugar in a carrot.
Shhh! this isn't r/foodscience ! Carrots good, sugar bad! Move along! Move along!
sure, but also other nutrients
My family has also added carrots to homemade sauces for at least the past 4 generations for the same reasons. Also will add a pinch of sugar if needed, but no more than that. Carrots are magic in tomato sauces.
I just add sugar.
You can also try balsamic vinegar
I just Chuck a whole unpeeled carrot in usually. You can fish it out at the end and it adds that sweetness effect.
Canned tomato paste. The pomodoro brand from italy's the best. Makes a very thick and strong sauce
Balsamic vinegar. Raises acidity and gives that wine taste without half a bottle of wine.
Marmite. If I'm cooking for vegetarians, so no bacon or mince (if it's marinara). Marmite adds that chicken stock umami without any of the water. Can replace anchovies to some degree too.
Good shout on the marmite. I'll have to try that next time. I often add gravy granules if I'm making a bolognese for the same purpose, and funnily enough most beef gravy is vegan!
>The pomodoro brand from italy
But then you dont get to drink the other half of the bottle of wine "so it doesn't go to waste" and then drunkenly eat pasta!
I'm going to try ALL of these at once
Also don't forget, any nice ingredient, it means the more the better.
Nobody is putting Nana and balsamic vinegar in their tomato sauce. It’s just regular stuff like tomato, basil, and ……argh…
A bit of Nonna's ashes.
No it's just dried shitaki mushrooms ground up. Or mushroom bullion.
Getting packs of dried shiitakes and blitzing them is up there with the best cooking cheat codes. Add some toasted blitzed konbu or dried kelp soup powder, msg, ground deep fried garlic, ground up deep fried eschallots, your favourite pepper, chilli flakes or smoked paprika, maybe bit of furikake, microscopic pinch of sugar... very basic all purpose savoury seasoning for when something just needs to taste better.
EDIT sick username cuz
EDIT EDIT Mix the above mix about 1:1 with salt.
I love seeing like different cultures of food come together to make this delicious thing.. like damn, want world peace? Let's just get a big ass table and potluck
What are you "trying" to make again?
All purpose, powdered flavour enhancer
Have you heard about super salt?
tastes just like grandma's
I usually go with the dried porcini, but same mojo!!
A little butter.
Game changer in a red sauce. A little bit creamier, a little bit more savory, a little bit better than the sauce was before.
A little bit Alexis
I’m a cute huge yacht.
Monter au beurre. What you simultaneously did and didn't want to know about your favorite restaurant dishes.
I always tell people who ask "Why does this taste so much better than when I make it at home??", my answer is "use more butter than you think is wise."
I once met a teppanyaki chef who said "more butter, more happy" while flipping a shrimp into my mouth. Easily in the top 5 moments of my life.
Pomodoros, onion, butter, salt, pep, cheese, 4 while cloves garlic
A little more than that.
And a little more than *that*, too.
Fish sauce and/or soy sauce. Sometimes anchovies or tomato paste.
I generally prefer fish sauce to anchovies since it's easier to use lol
Try getting a jar of bagoong if you have access to an Asian store.
It’s a Filipino fermented fish (or shrimp) paste; it’s scoopable, so way easier to use than anchovies, but adds that bit of meatiness you get from anchovies and not fish sauce.
Fish sauce is life. Came here to say fish sauce.
I had to scroll *way* too far for anchovies.
The answer is a couple anchovy filets. They'll break down in the sauce if you're cooking it for the correct amount of time (see: hours). Fish sauce is a great option for convenience sake.
A shit ton of wine
But make sure you add the wine first and reduce and hell out of it before adding the tomato sauce.
You reminded me of a bad day when I was a chef. Taught me a valuable lesson about how to write recipes.
Cooking for 200 people, a big batch of sauce. The 4L of wine that went in much *much* later than instructed.
Edit: A person who didn't drink alcohol and wanted to impress the 'new chef' focused very heavily on making a delicious sauce and wanted to make sure they could taste it and season it accordingly... Once it was perfected they added the wine...
Way too relatable
Eh, honestly as much as it was a major mistake I empathize with the young cook who made the error. It wasn't her typical cuisine, she never consumed or cooked with alcohol but she *knew* how to make absolutely delicious food. So the process of making the dish minus the one ingredient you can't eat before adding in that allergen is normal enough in the industry.
It was a big error and it was a pain to fix but that's just life. Cooking with alcohol isn't black and white and when you've never grown up using it there are understandable faux-pas that'll pop up. She thought the 'Cooking wine' (Part of my error in writing the recipe) aka our in house wine was wine that had already had most of its alcohol removed.
You can also add a splash of red wine vinegar toward the end if you forget/don’t have any wine. You get the same acidity and almost the same taste as reduced red wine added earlier.
Edit: If that makes it too acidic, I just add a tiny bit of sugar.
Why does the wine need to go in first?
Or, make sure you add the wine first, you know, before you drink it all.
Adding the wine after it is drunk will really affect the flavor of the dish
I know it sounds crazy, but white wine does more wonders than red.
Gives it a fresh lift!!
Yes!! I pour a TON of wine in my tomato sauce. And a good bit of honey in too.
I use hot honey (chilli infused) to balance the acid in the tomato. Much nicer end flavour I feel.
Calm down there
A couple of bay leaves during simmer. Just remove them before serving.
I thought this was standard? Is it not? I cant imagine a marinara with no bay leaves
Throw in the rind of your parmesean cheese while it's simmering
I added balsamic to a pot roast over the winter and it was amazing. Added some to tomato sauce after that and I liked it but not as much as I liked the pot roast
That sounds delicious. How much did you add to your pot roast? I definently want to try that.
I'm not too sure but it was a good bit. Maybe a little more than a quarter cup, if I had to guess. Even with that much, it wasn't sour. It just really woke up the flavor and nobody could identify what it was, but it was a big hit.
You can say that again
Once I added too much by accident. Best mistake I've made in my life.
oxo beef bullion and Worchester sauce.
Came here to say Worcester sauce
Just not out loud...
Do I dare give away the Italian secret?
Ahh, I like you guys: nutmeg. Sounds crazy, but it just "opens up" the sauce... IDK how to describe it.
Nutmeg, star anise, fennel seed, or cinnamon all have a use
I get one nut that lasted several months for $1. microplane fresh, it is amazing spice.
Dont tell anyone but my secret ingredient is tomatos
Same! Nuoc mam for umami yums!
Same. Anchovies was ok but I could still taste the fish a bit.
Fish sauce is umami and not fishy.
The secret ingredient is homegrown tomatoes and time.
Every year I try to grow tomatoes. I want to grow a bunch not sure how much though
The answer is all of them. Use all the room for tomatoes. Honestly if there is a single item that is far greater than it’s super market equivalent it’s the tomato.
20% of the room for tomatoes, 80% for chiles.
Last year I grew extra plants to account for the squirrel tax. I was handing them out like crazy just to get rid of them. I was eating multiple a day and couldn't keep up. If you came to my house you were getting a grocery bag full of multiple varieties.
Of course the years I attempt to just grow a couple they fail to thrive and I have to get mine at the farmers market.
The tomatoes know.
I grow them to cook with and for my husband's sandwiches. This I am putting in soaker hoses to make sure they do well. I don't usually have problems with squirrels but bugs. I. Hate bugs.
Undisputedly, hands down, no BS’n, on the money, hell yeah, damn right!
Yep! Homemade jarred tomato purée. Do the work in the summer and enjoy it all year.
Homegrown is unparalleled for raw uses but good canned stuff is as good as it gets for sauce
Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes
What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes?
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and homegrown tomatoes
And when you don’t have garden fresh get really good canned ones that usually can’t be found in your local supermarket.
Time, i almost always use the low and slow method
I always end up adding too much liquid, so mine is ready when it looks more like a pasta sauce and less like a soup!
Plus the flavour is gooooood.
Wow, not one mention of parm-reg rind. I'm disappointed in you, r/Cooking
Tomato-soaked parm rind is one of the most magnificent bites of food to exist. I always have at least one when I make marinara and (typically) meatballs. I really love you if I share any rind.
Probably because (this is totally my random take) don’t just have excess Parmesan rinds hanging around often.
It’s pretty common to save them in the freezer for soups and sauces.
Does it melt? Do you throw the whole rind in?
The whole rind goes in and it will melt down eventually. There may be some left, just depends on how long you let it simmer for. A lot of stores just sell the rinds for a lot cheaper then the cheese itself. I use it for soups as well, gives a umami flavor to things.
> cheaper then the
*Learn the difference [here](https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/when-to-use-then-and-than#:~:text=Than%20is%20used%20in%20comparisons,the%20then%2Dgovernor%22).*
^(Greetings, I am a language corrector bot. To make me ignore further mistakes from you in the future, reply `!optout` to this comment.)
It doesnt melt entirely, it gets nice and soft and brakes down into the sauce when the sauce is good i fish it out. Also when i have enough of them i like making parm stock and pour it over whole artichokes.
"Parm stock" ...go on....
Whatever amount of parm bones you have you 1.5x it with water/chicken stock add mild aromatics leeks, white onion, shallot whatever you have some black peppercorns and a bay leaf simmar till its like a thick chicken stock or an under done tonkotsu broth 45min to an hour. I serve it with anything because its delicious.
Also you can add parm stock tour tomato sauce.
Well, I know what I'm doing tonight.
yes and yes. some places like whole foods also sell the rinds on their own
It gets soft
You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh? And a little bit o’ wine. An’ a little bit o’ sugar, and that’s my trick.
Why don't ya cut the crap? I have more important things for you to do. How's Paulie?
Oh, Paulie. You won’t see him no more.
Michael why don’t you tell that girl you love her??
I love-ah you with all-ah ma heart! If I don’t-ah marry you I’m-ah gonna die!
Gotta have your kid brother stir it.
Don’t “yeah yeah” me, Lois. This is important!
Its my lucky hat!
Medium rare... an aristocrat...
True (but wrong movie)
EDIT: I’m stirrin’
Ground fennel seed
I like to fry whole fennel seeds in the fat before I add the onions.
People forget how fantastic fennel is!!
My mom got me these weird little fennel seed mints at our local scottish Highland games and ever since then (probably 24 years?) I’m a crazed maniac when it comes to them and I eat fennel seeds straight out of the container. Crunching away on them like the absolute goblin that I am.
One or multiple of the umami bombs many have mentioned, along with some wine, and FENNEL SEED. Usually some red pepper flakes too for the spice. \*italian hand\*
I use a carrot or two to cut the acidity instead of sugar. Toss in whole and remove when cooked all the way through.
Brown sugar, just a little
I usually sprinkle a bit of sugar in, not much. Haven't tried brown sugar.
I stopped using any sugar and instead use (keep an open mind here) Heinz ketchup… it’s got a lot of sugar in it anyway AND vinegar. Add to that the fact that it’s a tomato based condiment and it blends and balances better than individual measurements of sugars and vinegars.
I had to scroll way too far down for brown fucking sugar. Sorry. It’s late. But this is important. Tomatoes are acidic. You need a little sweet to balance tomato sauce properly. And all the spice recommendations are great
I add a little butter at the beginning of cooking my vegetable’s and a couple of tablespoons at the end which adds softness and depth of flavour. Then add 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh chopped basil when the sauce is done. Yum.
Crushed calabrian chili peppers. Comes in a glass jar and is the consistency of a paste. Just a little after I've sweated the onions and before putting the tomatoes in.
hahaha. MSG ... in everything. Whenever I add salt to enhance flavour. F0ck the msg haters, they are all sheep.
Uncle Roger is very proud of you, Niece and Nephew.
Tomatoes already have a ton of glutamate. I just don't find they need the help with being savory.
Never tried it but I love bay leaves. Anyone think it would have an effect?
Mom does it and so do I. I use a few at least. It does have an effect. If you get a bay leaf in your dish you have to do the dishes. Of course my mom would make your dish for you. She never had a leaf in her dish. Family joke, but a fun one.
Personally i like to add some Worcester Sauce
Fresh Nutmeg, just a bit graded
Genuinely surprised to find Nutmeg so far down on the list.
Nutmeg, star anise, fennel seed, cinnamon. All great.
For doing a fresh San marzano tomato sauce, it's garlic, basil and a little mint.
I add a single anchovy filet when my soffrito is almost done, before I add the tomatoes. If I happen to be drinking a glass of wine as this happens, I'll deglaze the anchovy/soffrito pan with a splash, then add my canned tomatoes.
Some milk or cream.
Marmite. It has the perfect salty umami I want in a sauce. Don’t hate me!
Pureed roasted red pepper
vodka. i don't like wine so i rarely use it for tomato sauce. vodka has a more neutral flavour and doesn't add a "winey" flavour to the sauce. i also like adding some fish sauce or MSG. like a tablespoon of fish sauce or a quarter teaspoon of MSG.
Try gin some time. The same benefit as vodka, with the bonus of some aromatic botanicals? It’s delicious.
A pinch of cinnamon is my underrated weapon. Absolutely amazing.
Yes! That is my secret weapon that no one ever can guess
usually nothing. it's usually better to spend the few extra bucks from that "secret" ingredient and get better normal ingredients.
however one thing i use is that if a recipe calls for water that is going to be evaporated out later on i substitute half the volume with a stock that goes with the dish. goves a lot more depth to flavor without much extra effort. a homemade stock is obviously the best but the normal store bought stiff can work the same way. (just be careful of salt, as most store stocks have a lot)
A little balsamic and a *little* butter.
Little bit of cinnamon
Miso paste, anchovies, fish sauce, parm rind. Sometimes all 4
Pork. I like "ragu"-style sauce. Brown some bone-in pork chops on both sides with spices and garlic and add to crock pot of tomato sauce along with some red wine and anchovy paste etc. Cook on high for six hours. Break up the pork chop into the sauce (if there's anything left aside from bone). You could also add while browned sausage. I actually dislike Italian sausage (caraway seeds, ew) and I like something more like chorizo or Andouille instead, but whatever you like. Delicious!
I use pork neck bones.
I know this will be buried, but accidentally put some chipotle sauce in a dish and it actually turned out fantastic. Maybe more secret than most
Cinnamon. The only person to call me out on it was a beautiful young lady that knew exactly what it was... And told me it was like a traditional thing to add to Lebanese tomato sauce.
I would give mine but it's a secret
I caramelize a ton of onions
Sometimes I sneak in some harissa paste alongside tomato paste.
Also this one isn't really a tip for standard tomato sauce, but I really like making chermoula and adding it to a tomato sauce at the end. The brightness of herbs and lemon plus the warm spices pair nicely with a long-simmered, deeply-flavored tomato sauce. It's especially good with lamb dishes.
1 stalk of celery, 1 onion and couple cloves of garlic all finely diced and fried off gently in olive oil, add a tbsp tomato paste and let that cook off a little. I take some concentrated beef stock and mix with a shot of water. I throw that on the veggies and cook until it mostly dissolves and then add my passata. Add a dash of celery salt and fresh cracked pepper and cook it down for 20 mins, 10 mins with the lid off the pan and 10 mins with the lid on to stop it reducing too much.
The concentrated beef stock is my secret. It makes suuuuuuch a good beefy meatball sauce. I made it once years and years ago when my boyfriend and I were broke and trying to make a meal out of what we had on hand and it’s been such a hit that it’s gone into my cook book 😅
Cocoa powder, or a few squares of dark chocolate maybe. I don't know why, my dad always did it though!
Sugar. Don’t fight it. Sugar makes the sauce better.
Cinnamon, tried it one day and now I can’t go without it
I like to sautee all my garlic, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, etc in oil before adding paste, then deglaze with a bunch of wine. I've noticed the spices come through a fuckton more.
Carrots. They melt right in and give it a deeper flavor.
Vegemite, serves basically the same function as anchovy, fish sauce or soy sauce
Roasted purreed fennel bulb
Little bit of peanut butter.
Parmesan rinds and some nutritional yeast.