Balancing Acidic Tomato Sauces

If you're making a simple tomato sauce for a dish like pasta or shakshuka, even when you season it with various herbs and spices, it can still come out tasting quite acidic. Well that's because canned tomatoes (as well as fresh) are about 3.5-4.7 on the pH scale (0-14, 0 is extremely acidic).

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You have to do something to balance out that acidity. Some recipes suggest adding baking soda which is quite alkaline at 9 on the pH scale. However, before reaching for baking soda, you should know that in tests done by Cooks Illustrated, sugar did a better job of enhancing the flavor of acidic tomato sauce than baking soda did.

Add a little white sugar at a time, mix and taste after each addition, and enjoy your balanced sauce.