Does tomato sauce need to be sour? Does sugar need to be added? Star chefs answer this age-old question. It’s actually quite easy to fix a spaghetti sauce that’s too sour, even if it’s a last-minute mistake and you don’t have time to go shopping. Chefs’ opinions might clarify our ideas.

Sour tomato sauce

The motto when making a tomato sauce is moderation. If you need to sweeten a sour tomato sauce for spaghetti, the solution that comes to mind is the most logical: use non-sweet ingredients.

We often add sugar to our tomato sauce to combat the acidity of the tomatoes. However, if you are not careful enough, you can end up using too much sugar, which not only makes the spaghetti sauce too sweet, but can also harm your health. There are actually sugar substitutes to make tomato sauce less sour. There are some alternatives to sugar when it comes to making a less sour tomato sauce, some of which may be easier to tone down than regular sugar. Not all of them are as effective as sugar and may not impart the same flavor to your sauce, but you can try. In the end, it’s all a matter of personal taste.

Among the many natural alternatives to make spaghetti sauce sweeter without the famous white grains is sodium bicarbonate, which can tone down the acidity of tomato sauce by changing its pH. In addition to bicarbonate, we also have carrots and potatoes, but also the addition of fresh tomatoes. Carrots are particularly suitable for sweetening the sauce. Any of these ingredients can sweeten the sour sauce and give it that extra flavor that makes our dish more enjoyable.

The answer of the cooks

The numerous cooking programs, in which a star chef cannot miss, can shed light on this problem that occurs in the kitchen: What to do with sour tomato sauce? To dispel all doubts, one thing showed: sugar in the sauce is really not good! Even five-star chef Bruno Barbieri defined sugar in the sauce as “Satan!”. During an episode of “Masterchef 11”, judge Antonino Cannavacciuolo faked an anxiety attack so that a competitor, tempted by sugar, corrected a slightly acidic sauce.

Chef at work in the kitchen

Chef Irina Steccanella agrees and, as an ambassador of authentic flavors from Emilia-Romagna, even sees sugar in tomato sauce as the antichrist. Chef Alessandro Negrini, even if he reiterates his no to sugar as “sucrose”, could instead think about correcting the acidity by using fructose. In fact, you should choose a tomato that is already acid-free.

Season with tomato sauce

However, I refer to a trick to correct the excessive acidity of the sauce with the help of a spoonful of milk or a little butter. However, these are tricks that can be used in the home kitchen. Even if today unanimously pronounce a clear no to sugar, our grandmothers used a pinch of it to correct the acidity and the result left nothing to be desired.