Balsamic roasted cherry tomato sauce in the glass jar . style rustic . selective focus. (Photo by: Zoryana Ivchenko/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Best Ways To Fix Bitter Tomato Sauce
One of the more frequent reasons for bitter tomato sauce is seasoning it with herbs too early, which releases an extremely bitter flavor, as well as cooking tomato sauce in an aluminum pot or pan, which results in a reaction that accentuates the acidity of the tomatoes. Fortunately, there are a few remedies for bitter tomato sauce, and you probably already have them in your pantry or fridge.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper, author of "The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper," suggests adding a small pinch to your sauce, stirring it a few times, tasting it, and repeating this procedure until your sauce has a more balanced level of acidity. If you accidentally add too much baking soda, try adding some lemon juice or vinegar to restore some of the tomato sauce's acidity.
Similar to the baking soda method, you can try adding a small amount of sugar to your finished tomato sauce to help balance out any harsh or bitter flavors. The Natural Gourmet Institute advises to start with just ¼ teaspoon of sugar at a time until the sauce reaches your desired acidity level.
Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis recommends adding grated carrots to the tomato sauce to help balance the acidity and impart a natural sweetness to the sauce. De Laurentiis explains that it's easy to go overboard when using granulated sugar, and too sweet can be just as bad as too bitter.
If all else fails, a little butter into the mix will round out the sauce and create a creamy texture. If you're willing to change your dish, you can use heavy cream or milk to transform your tomato sauce from marinara to rosé, increasing the creaminess and richness of the dish as a whole while masking some of the unpleasant flavors.