Food - Drink
Why You May Want To Think Twice Before Cooking Potatoes In Tomato Sauce
Potatoes can be prepared in so many delicious ways, and are even better when served with a tasty sauce, but some sauces are surprisingly hard to pair with this starchy tuber. If you're planning to cook potatoes in a tomato-based sauce, you might want to reconsider your method if you don't have a ton of time on your hands.
Cookbook author Harold McGee explains that hemicellulose, the carbohydrate that makes potatoes firm, takes a much longer time to break down in acidic conditions, such as a pot of tomato sauce. “Vegetables cooked in an acidic liquid—a tomato sauce, for example [...] may remain firm during hours of cooking," McGee explains.
Potatoes soften in just 10 to 15 minutes if you boil them in water before you add them to the sauce. Potatoes boiled in tomato sauce won't necessarily turn out badly, and tomatoes can even be an advantage if you're worried about the potatoes losing their shape and turning mushy, but you'll really have to wait a while for them to soften.