Tomato sauce in a big bowl with big wooden spoon
The Punchy Ingredient To Level Up Your Tomato Sauces
Homemade red sauce is already a perfect food, but you can make it more creative and perhaps more suited to your own tastes with the addition of lemon zest.
Lemon works similarly to salt by enhancing and brightening flavors, but without excess sodium or a salty taste. It works well with the acidity in tomatoes to perk up your sauce.
A hint of lemon also helps cut through the heaviness of cheese in dishes like spaghetti or lasagna. Using just zest and not the juice avoids adding a super lemony taste.
Use a citrus zester to zest the peels of up to two lemons, then add it to your pot of sauce a little at a time until the flavor matches up with your personal tastes.
Avoid grating the bitter white pith underneath the yellow skin. You can add some juice if you like, but zest the lemon first, since it's harder to zest halved and squeezed fruit.