This Might Be The Easiest Fix For Bitter Tomato Sauce

On the surface, tomato sauce looks easy to make. Take some tomatoes, simmer them in a pot, and voilà! tomato sauce is born (though, to be fair, that is the simplistic version). But there's a deception behind this art form and one that allows for too many mistakes to occur.

One of them lies in the resulting flavors, namely, the overpowering notes of bitterness. Leaf states that this can be due to burning the sauce in the pot or simply dealing with a batch of produce that are overly acidic or metallic from canning or cooking. This can also come from under-ripe or low-quality tomatoes, as well as stirring in a hefty amount of tomato paste, per Boss The Kitchen.

Though tomato sauce is prone to mistakes or flavors that taste off, it also welcomes any potential solutions with open arms. So here's the easiest fix to transform bitter tomato sauce into a palatable mixture fit for classic Italian meatballs, cod fritters, and beyond.

A common pantry staple

Need a new facial exfoliator? Reach for some baking soda. Need to get rid of those grease stains in your oven? Hello again, baking soda! Need to fix bitter tomato sauce? You get the picture. Cook's Illustrated explains that this humble ingredient helps balance out tomato sauce's acidic pH levels. That's because baking soda has a pH level of nine, making it a base with a strong reaction to acidic products, per BakingHow.

Southern Living states that a pinch of baking soda should help to fix tart tomato sauce, but you can also add ¼ teaspoon to 1 cup of tomato sauce. Heat this up and add in a little extra baking soda if the sauce is still acidic, The Splendid Table says. Butter is also a great option for flavors that still taste off. Just mix 1 teaspoon or so into the sauce to make it rich, creamy, and even more flavorful.

So next time you come face to face with bitter tomato sauce, don't throw it out. Instead, just reach for some baking soda to neutralize those acidic tastes, which will restore the sauce's pH levels and make it taste as it should be: savory and tomatoey.