Use A Potato To Cut The Acidity In Pasta Sauce

Whether you pour it over pasta noodles, use it as a lasagna sauce, or even drizzle it on your homemade pizza crust, pasta sauce is one versatile and delicious condiment we all love. But after hours of simmering you end up with a version that's too acidic to your liking, then what do you do? One unconventional yet effective solution to tame the tanginess of sauce is using a humble potato. Traditionally, cooks have resorted to adding sugar, dairy, or baking soda to counter acidity in tomato-based varieties, but this technique offers a healthier and tastier alternative.

The secret behind the potato hack lies in the tuber's natural ability to absorb excess acidity without altering the sauce's flavor. Acidity in tomato-based versions caused primarily by the presence of citric and malic acids, can sometimes overpower the delicate balance of flavors, leaving a sharp aftertaste on the palate. Spuds, however, act as natural sponges, soaking up the acidity and rendering the sauce more palatable.

How to cut the acidity in your pasta sauce using a potato

As the pasta sauce simmers on the stovetop, peel and cut one potato into halves or quarters. Add the potato pieces directly to the liquid and leave them to simmer. Once the tubers are cooked to fork tender, remove them from the pot and discard them. If you were to taste these spuds, they'll have a tangy flavor from the acidity. It's also important to note that the potato doesn't cut the pasta sauce acidity by adjusting the pH, only an alkaline substance would be able to do that. 

Instead, the tubers work their magic by absorbing the excess acidity while absorbing the liquid in the sauce which results in less acidity. The best part about this method is it reduces the sauces' acidity without altering the flavors which happens if you were to use sugar or dairy. Furthermore, the hack comes as a boon to anyone who's keen on eliminating refined sugars or extra fats in their diet, as you don't need to use sugar, butter, or dairy to counter the acidity. So, the next time you whip up a tangy tomato sauce, don't forget to invite the potato to the party.