The bad news is that it is not necessary to suffer from gastritis to know that the tomato, however delicious it is in all its forms, is a food with a high concentration of sourness; the good thing is that, with a few tips, you can eliminate it and bring perfect tomato-based dishes to the table. So let’s see how to do it.
Behind its undeniable goodness, tomato hides a very high level of sourness that can ruin our dishes or cause annoying heartburn, especially if it is canned peeled tomatoes or tomato puree. How is it possible to overcome this problem, eliminate sourness and thus not give up a delicious dish in which the tomato, in all its forms, is the real protagonist? Here are 8 simple and effective ways to say goodbye to the sourness of tomatoes.
Probably the best known and easiest way to reduce the sourness of tomato sauce is to use sugar. When your sauce begins to simmer, add the salt and a pinch of white or brown sugar, then mix; the sugar will be able to counterbalance and eliminate the sourness of the tomato, without changing its flavor or sweetening your dish.
Grandma's method, the infallible one; using baking soda. Also in this case, while cooking the sauce, you just need to add a pinch to avoid that your plate of spaghetti with tomato leaves you an annoying hint of sour. Do not be alarmed if, after adding baking soda, small bubbles form on the surface of the sauce; it is a sign that the baking soda is doing its duty, absorbing the sourness.
Another infallible method to reduce the sourness of tomatoes, if you use fresh tomatoes, is to remove the peel; to do this, just bring plenty of hot water to a boil, add the tomatoes and cook them for ten minutes; then once drained, soak them in cold water, so you can easily peel them without burning your hands.
The seeds, together with the peel, contain most of the sourness and for this eliminating them can be an excellent remedy. At the beginning it will seem a bit laborious but in reality it is very simple: you just need to cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds with a sharp knife, being careful not to remove the pulp as well.
If you use canned or bottled peeled tomatoes, you can "soften" the sourness by adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg while cooking. With this method you will eliminate the sourness without compromising the flavor of your sauce; but be careful not to overdo it; the correct proportion is half a teaspoon of spice for a kilo of tomatoes.
Perhaps not everyone knows that potatoes and carrots have the power to partially absorb the sourness of tomatoes, especially when it comes to tomato sauce. Peel and cut a potato or carrot, cut them into 4 parts, cook them together with the tomato puree and remove them only when cooked. Your tomato puree will be considerably less sour.
If you do not want to give up spaghetti with fresh tomatoes but fear the sourness effect, the advice is to choose the datterini tomatoes, among the less sour and sweeter varieties. Small but with a great flavor, datterini tomatoes resemble dates (hence the name) and contain a low level of sourness, a factor that guarantees their sweetness.
In case you are using tomato puree, a great way to reduce the sourness is to add ½ cup of vegetable broth or dissolve ½ bouillon cube during cooking. Vegetable broth is a very particular method which, in addition to counteracting sourness, will give flavor and aroma to your tomato sauce.
If you don't want to resort to sugar, baking soda, broth or cinnamon, you just have one thing left to do; cook the tomato as little as possible because, perhaps you can't imagine it, but the more tomato it cooks, the more sour it becomes. If you are preparing a recipe that includes tomatoes among the ingredients, be careful to combine them last, so as to cook them less time and obtain a dish with a low level of sourness.