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Old 10-23-2017, 10:45 AM   #41
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GG, my only reason for not adding sugar to a pasta sauce is I simply don't like a sweet sauce, or tomato soup for that matter. I do use a pinch of baking soda however, if the canned tomatoes seem too acidic.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:46 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
The canned tomatoes can be acidic. That's what people add the sugar for.

I add a can (3 oz.) of tomato paste to a 28 Oz.can of tomato. After sautéing the aromatics, I add the paste and sauté that too. This brings out the natural sweetness in the paste and helps to counteract the acidity of the tomato.
Thanks for that info Andy. I'll give it a try!
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:20 AM   #43
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I was under the impression the sugar was added because of the tomato paste?
I added a pinch in my gallon of marinara I made on Saturday.
I thought the sauce was quite sweet. Did not need the sugar at all.
I use two small cans of paste with about a pint (more if needed) of water along with the gallon can of crushed tomatoes.
Next time I will wait until its almost done before adding any sugar.
Its still a great sauce.
I only add it if it needs it towards the end of the cooking time. Taste, adjust seasoning - maybe it's too acidic, maybe it's too sweet, maybe it needs more salt or oregano (or whatever herbs I'm using). That depends on all the ingredients and the balance of flavors they already have, as well as the cooking techniques used, like Andy sautéing the tomato paste to bring out the natural sugar in it.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:21 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I add a can (3 oz.) of tomato paste to a 28 Oz.can of tomato. After sautéing the aromatics, I add the paste and sauté that too. This brings out the natural sweetness in the paste and helps to counteract the acidity of the tomato.
That's a very cheffy move, Andy I learned that trick in culinary school.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:23 AM   #45
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GG, my only reason for not adding sugar to a pasta sauce is I simply don't like a sweet sauce, or tomato soup for that matter. I do use a pinch of baking soda however, if the canned tomatoes seem too acidic.
Okay. Three or four people said they "refuse" to add sugar to tomato sauce, so I was wondering what prompted that strong language

I don't like a sweet sauce, either. I'll taste towards the end of cooking and add whatever I think it needs to get the flavor I want.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:33 AM   #46
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About a year ago I was having some serious problems getting my sugar back under control. So little by little, I found I was using less sugar, less salt, less grains. (Bread) No more quick grab a bite from a hastily made sandwich. Less sugar in my coffee or tea, veggies that contained less natural sugar without giving up the nutrients.

The weight came off and over time I found I didn't miss the added sweetness. Plus as I get older and it is harder for me to walk, I am not as active, so I eat less. I also practice serving control. I use a salad plate for my food instead of a full size dinner plate. So it is not just the sugar alone. It is a combination of all the foods we eat.

No, I do not put sugar in my pasta sauce. I use herbs and other seasonings to accomplish the flavor I am seeking. And like others, I add it at the end of cooking.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:49 AM   #47
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That's a very cheffy move, Andy I learned that trick in culinary school.
Do you use this trick? I do, in place of adding sugar.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:10 PM   #48
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Sorry but it did come across that way.



It's been well established that most of the added sugar (and extra sodium) people eat are from prepared and processed foods, not homemade foods. If you add a little sugar to your tomato sauce, you're still getting the benefits of the tomatoes and other ingredients in the sauce. It's not like eating a cupcake.

Thanks for the response. I'd like to hear from the others who said the same thing.
Sorry if it sounded condescending to you, but it was not my intention.

I agree completely that processed foods and sugary drinks are the primary culprits when it comes to excess sugar and sodium. That's a good reason to cook my own food at home. I like that I get to decide what goes into my food. I use salt sparingly, and avoid sugars, other than what I get naturally from fresh fruits and juices.

Would adding a little sugar to my sauce hurt me? Probably not, but if I like the sauce without adding any sugar, I don't see a reason to add any.

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Old 10-23-2017, 01:14 PM   #49
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I use s pinch or 2 of sugar if the sauce tastes too acidic after it has cooked for a while, otherwise I don't. I've been known to use a pinch or 2 as well, or some honey, if appropriate, in other things that are too acidic or bitter also.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:24 PM   #50
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If you are making a plain tomato sauce adding a lump of butter at the last minute helps to cut or hide an acidic bite.

Adding a finely grated carrot to a longer cooking sauce can help to sweeten the sauce slightly.

IMO using a small amount of sugar as a seasoning gets a bad rap and is no different than adding a dash of salt.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:52 PM   #51
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If you are making a plain tomato sauce adding a lump of butter at the last minute helps to cut or hide an acidic bite.

Adding a finely grated carrot to a longer cooking sauce can help to sweeten the sauce slightly.

IMO using a small amount of sugar as a seasoning gets a bad rap and is no different than adding a dash of salt.
I was just going to say that about the carrot! My mother used to sometimes add finely grated carrot to her sauce - the 'carrot' flavor disappears, but it does help balance an acidic sauce.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:45 PM   #52
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Do you use this trick? I do, in place of adding sugar.
No, I never seem to remember it. I do cook down the onions pretty good, which also releases their sugar.
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:18 AM   #53
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The canned tomatoes can be acidic. That's what people add the sugar for.

I add a can (3 oz.) of tomato paste to a 28 Oz.can of tomato. After sautéing the aromatics, I add the paste and sauté that too. This brings out the natural sweetness in the paste and helps to counteract the acidity of the tomato.
I also saute the paste with the aromatics. When the aromatics are almost ready. I make a hot spot in the pan for the paste. Even a couple more drops of EVOO to help it fry a bit. My mother did it that way and it seems to be the correct way as far as TV chefs go.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:28 PM   #54
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When tomatoes are in season - we plant Roma, which have been used specifically for sauces for ages, and which are also available canned. I find the balance of flavours more mellow, and when you buy from the market, they're cheaper too, handy when you're doing sauce in bulk. I reduce the sauce, and then bottle. The other elements - seasoning (no sugar), with a little 'trito' composed of finely chopped onions and carrots in not very large quantities and sweated in a little EVOO. I'm happy with that. It's fine as far as I'm concerned.

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Old 10-24-2017, 02:42 PM   #55
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This is an interesting conversation. Personally, I wouldn't pay $5.00 for a can of tomatoes but maybe that's just me. Then again, brands don't mean much to me and I don't own a Coach handbag either.
I have a Coach handbag.....I got it at Goodwill for $10 and it's probably a knock-off! LOL
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