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Old 08-06-2010, 01:49 PM   #41
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If you think your red sauce is too acidic add a little(very little, like 1/4 tsp or less to start) of baking soda. It raises the residual alkalinity which reduces that acidic taste while adding no real flavor of it's own like sugar would
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:53 PM   #42
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I prefer a red sauce but my family prefers a chunky meat/mushroom sauce.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:58 PM   #43
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Red Kades and if the tomatoes are too acidic I add more onion, sometimes a little carrot, but I always use San Marzano tomatoes that are imported so I usually don't have a problem with the acid... Cento now has San Marzano's imported from Italy which are very good... However I do love all kinds of ragu's and make them often...
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:39 PM   #44
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The reason I asked was no one seems to use the dry reconstituted mushooms and the wonderful broth they give. My kids love it and it's our favorite sauce for ravioli and pasta other than pesto. I like bolonese with veal so we are diverse in many ways. The brown gravy I make is my m-i-l's so to make DH happy that is what I go with.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:23 PM   #45
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The reason I asked was no one seems to use the dry reconstituted mushooms and the wonderful broth they give. My kids love it and it's our favorite sauce for ravioli and pasta other than pesto. I like bolonese with veal so we are diverse in many ways. The brown gravy I make is my m-i-l's so to make DH happy that is what I go with.
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Kades, I usually put dried porcini in my sauce. I don't see the need to rehydrate them first, I just break them up and toss them into the sauce dry. There's plenty of liquid to rehydrate them during cooking.

These mushrooms do not make my sauce brown.

Between the sauteed onions and the sauteed tomato paste, I get enough sweetness to cut the acid. I never add sugar.

Occasionally, if I encounter a particularly acidic can of tomatoes, I have resorted to using the smallest pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acid. Works great.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:30 PM   #46
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Kades, I usually put dried porcini in my sauce. I don't see the need to rehydrate them first, I just break them up and toss them into the sauce dry. There's plenty of liquid to rehydrate them during cooking.

These mushrooms do not make my sauce brown.

Between the sauteed onions and the sauteed tomato paste, I get enough sweetness to cut the acid. I never add sugar.

Occasionally, if I encounter a particularly acidic can of tomatoes, I have resorted to using the smallest pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acid. Works great.
Andy I rehydrate to get that brown broth from the mushrooms this in turn adds more flavor and turns my gravy a rich brown color it also allows me to strain off any sand from the mushrooms that grit can ruin the whole thing. The tomatoes I use are sometimes some that I've roasted in the oven others from Italy that are as sweet as sugar. Cost a little more but worth it.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:44 PM   #47
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Andy I rehydrate to get that brown broth from the mushrooms this in turn adds more flavor and turns my gravy a rich brown color it also allows me to strain off any sand from the mushrooms that grit can ruin the whole thing. The tomatoes I use are sometimes some that I've roasted in the oven others from Italy that are as sweet as sugar. Cost a little more but worth it.
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Kades, if I add the dry mushrooms to the sauce, the brown broth forms in the sauce with the liquid from the other ingredients. I'm just leaving out the water used to rehydrate the mushrooms.

I use certified San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. We don't have a veggie garden and really good fresh tomatoes aren't available for more than a couple of weeks per year right about now.

Grit hasn't been an issue. I brush off any loose surface dust before I use them.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:14 PM   #48
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I sometimes use dried porcinis depending on the tomato sauce. I put mine through a spice grinder and then sift through a fine mesh filter into the sauce. The grit and woody pieces stay behind.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:30 PM   #49
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I often use dried mushrooms and always soak them first, I then strain the liquid and add it to my dish... IMO there is nothing worse than spending so much time and effort on something only to add grittiness to my food...
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:42 PM   #50
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dried porcini are such versatile treasures, it's quite powerful so a little goes a long way too. Fresh porcini are quite expensive also in Italy, also quite seasonal, so dried ones are the practical option also for us. They do give lovely flavour to a gravy type sauce, but for a pasta sauce I personally prefer non-tomato based sauce when paired with the porcini flavour (with olive oil, or cream for example).
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