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How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce

Both of my pregnancies gave me non-stop pasta cravings. One more than the other, but still, all I wanted for lunch and dinner was pasta. Didn’t matter what kind either. It could have been plain boiled pasta fresh out of the pot, and I’d still be happy to have it without any sauce. And since I’m the type of person who believes in obeying a craving while pregnant, you better believe I made sure there was always pasta in our pantry.

These days, pasta is still a favorite choice of mine as well as my kiddos. They especially enjoy pasta with simple sauces. It has been my experience however, that they do not like traditional red spaghetti sauce. I’ve tried different brands and they always have the same reaction; “I don’t like the sauce.” But I do! So, I learned how to bring the acidity level down a notch and it seems to be working in everyone’s favor so far.

Here’s a basic recipe you might find helpful if you are trying to reduce the acidic taste of spaghetti sauce.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 2My method for making a pasta dish is always the same. I cook the pasta first, then the meat and/or sauce. I never use two pots when making pasta. That’s MY thing though, so feel free to use two pots if that’s how you roll.

As for me, I prefer to wash only one pot at the end of the evening.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 1Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

Save one cup of the pasta water before straining it.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 5Typically I like to cook mine al dente, drain the water through a strainer, give it a quick rinse in cold water, set it aside, and use the same pot I boiled the pasta in to make the sauce. Once the sauce is ready, I add the pasta to finish cooking in the sauce.

SO! Let’s get to the important part here. Why this post is so important to me, and hopefully to you.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 3My trick? An onion and garlic sofrito. That’s it!

No sugar, no cornstarch, no potato.

Those are some of the suggestions you will get if you google “How to reduce the acidity in spaghetti sauce,” by the way. Neither of which I am fond of doing. Pasta has enough starch to begin with, why the heck would I want to add a potato?! And sugar????? Noooooooo thank you. Not my thing. Not for pasta at least.

My favorite onions to use are the scallions with a small white root bulb (also knows as cebollitas in Mexican grocery stores). They are milder than a large onion, and taste sweeter when caramelized.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 4Chop off the root end as well as the bruised and wilted parts of the leaves. Mince the rest of the onions with the garlic.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 6 Sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat until they become soft and start to caramelize. This should take about one and a half to two minutes.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 7Add the spaghetti sauce. Scrape the bottom of the pot while mixing the sauce with the onions and garlic to loosen any pieces that are stuck on the pot.

RELATED: Cheesy Tomato and Chipotle Bowtie Pasta

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 8Add the reserved one cup of pasta water…

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 9and the garlic salt.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 10Stir together until the base feels smooth and there aren’t any pieces of onion or garlic stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Simmer covered on low heat for 15 minutes.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 11Fold the pasta into the sauce.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 12Turn off the heat and let it rest covered for another 10 minutes. This would be a good time to make a salad or side veggie to go with your pasta dinner.

How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce 15.2I hope this  helps you on your next pasta night. Especially if you have tomato haters like I do.

Cheers!

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How to reduce the acidic taste in spaghetti sauce
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Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 3 small cebollitas, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 24 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup pasta water
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Save one cup of the pasta water before straining it.
  2. In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat until they become soft and start to caramelize. This should take about one and a half to two minutes.
  3. Add the spaghetti sauce. Scrape the bottom of the pot while mixing the sauce with the onions and garlic to loosen any pieces that are stuck on the pot. Add the reserved one cup of pasta water and the garlic salt.Stir together until the base feels smooth and there aren’t any pieces of onion or garlic stuck to the bottom of the pot. Simmer covered on low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Fold the pasta into the sauce. Turn off the heat and let it rest covered for another 10 minutes before serving.