How to Decrease Acid in Pasta Sauce

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Decreasing the acid in a pasta sauce is something you can do by adjusting a few key ingredients during your next batch. Find out how to decrease acid in pasta sauce with help from a published cookbook author and food expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Understanding Taste for Better Cooking
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Barb Stuckey, author of "Taste," and today we're going to talk about how to fix a pasta sauce that has too much acid or sour taste. The easiest way to fix a sauce that's too acidic and frankly the easiest way to fix any sauce that's gone wrong is to simply make another batch and make it without the problem ingredient. So if tomato sauce is what's making your sauce too acidic, you'll want to make the second batch without the tomato sauce. If it's balsamic vinegar that's making your sauce too acidic, make the second one without the vinegar. Then combine the two batches and voila, you've solved your problem. However, you might not have enough ingredients on hand or time to make a whole 'nother batch so here are some quick fixes. The first one is to add something that is not acidic. So we're talking about something that's got a lot of acid like tomatoes or vinegar that's in your sauce that's the problem. You want to balance that out with something that has a low level of acid and that brings to mind things like dairy ingredients. You could use butter for example and butter has a neutral pH as does milk and cream and what they're going to do is that their neutral pH is going to balance out some of that high acidity from the tomatoes or the vinegar, whatever the problem is. You should also know that animal proteins like beef or pork or chicken are generally low in acid as well so if you're making a pasta sauce that's got meat, you could just add a little bit more meat or a little bit more chicken and the addition of that is also going to help to reduce the perception of acidity in the sauce. And then lastly you could use that old trick of adding a raw potato to your sauce but it's not what you think is happening. Why you add raw potato is because a potato has much less acid than the tomatoes that are the problem. So by cooking a potato in the sauce, you are essentially diluting out the acidic taste. You could also use something like rice or bread crumbs because they too have neutral pH and so what you want to do is let the potato cook down or rice or bread crumbs until they just dissolve into the sauce and that will help offset some of the acid in the sauce. Remember that the best way to avoid putting too much of anything into any sauce is to taste between every ingredient that you add, taste, taste and taste again. I'm Barb Stuckey, author of "Taste." For more information on how taste works, go to my website,


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