The Zingy Addition To Fix Burnt-Tasting Tomato Sauce

We've all been there. You know you have to stir the tomato sauce often so it doesn't stick or burn, yet you sneak away for just a few minutes only to come back and find the tomato sauce is burned. When any food gets burned, the taste is altered. And sometimes, with sauces, it's tough to know if it's ruined. Unfortunately, you might only discover that it tastes "off" after you've mixed it in with your pasta.

There are a couple of helpful hints to follow when you aren't sure if your tomato sauce is burned or not so you can avoid finding out too late. First, smell the sauce. Usually, the smell of tomato sauce cooking is heavenly. When it is burned, you'll smell a burning scent. Also, look at the sauce. Is it looking too thick or sticking badly to the sides of the pot? If so, it might be too far gone.

You can avoid a burned pasta sauce by keeping it on the lowest heat setting on the stove and stirring it often. Good tomato sauce simmers for hours, so all the flavors meld together. Still, even when you try your best, sometimes a tomato sauce burns. No need to panic. You can fix it with an unusual trick you may have never considered regarding tomato sauce. 

Balance the sauce with lemon

The first thing you should do if your tomato sauce is burned is to remove it from the pot it's in. Often, if it hasn't burned too much, the burned parts are stuck to the sides and especially the bottom of the pot. Pour your tomato sauce into a new pot, and don't scrape the sides or the bottom. Otherwise, you'll bring the burnt parts with you.

Once that's done, it's time to cover up any burnt flavor in the sauce. You can do this by adding additional spices, more tomatoes or tomato sauce, some sugar, or any dairy such as half and half. Butter also works well. One of the quickest ways to fix a burned sauce without masking the taste or altering it with more flavorings is lemon juice. Lemon juice, with its acidity, helps to balance the sauce rather than simply covering up the bad taste. You can squeeze some fresh lemon juice or use bottled lemon juice. Add just a little at a time until you get your sauce back to where it should be.