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Topic: Making fresh tomato sauce less salty - any tips?

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Subject: Making fresh tomato sauce less salty - any tips?
Date Posted: 9/2/2008 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2006
Posts: 2,669
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Thought I'd give my family a treat by making a big pot of spaghetti, meatballs & sausage using some of the garden tomatoes that are spilling over my counters.  I'd done it before and my family loved it.  I spent most of the morning & afternoon cooking & it is now simmering on the stove.  I gave it a taste and was hit with a too salty flavor.  Any suggestions on how to fix this?  I swear I didn't use any salt when making my sauce and I've already added some sugar.  I was going to try the potatoe trick, but when checking the internet I read where this is an old wive's tale and that it really doesn't work. 

Any other suggestions - even if I don't get some responses in time for today's meal, I'd be interested in hearing any tips in case this happens again.

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2008
Posts: 20
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try a little vinegar and taste before adding more if needed.

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2006
Posts: 2,669
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Thanks.  I have to remember the vinegar thing.  The little bit of sugar seemed to help - it didn't seem so salty once it was over the pasta. 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 9/4/2008 3:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Yes, sugar will help.  Also, put a raw, chunked, peeled potato in the sauce.  It absorbs the salt.

 

Date Posted: 9/6/2008 2:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 1,583
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Food science is a hobby of mine, so I have to disagree with you, L; a potato will not absorb enough salt to make any difference (although boiling in salty tomato sauce makes a tasty potato).  

Bettyjean, if your sauce is salty and you didn't add any, you might have used something like Garlic Salt instead of Garlic Powder (been there, done that).  Sugar is the best way to go to combat salt-flavor, although, as you discovered, what tastes salty straight may well come out fine on a plate of pasta.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 9/6/2008 5:03 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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That not what my Momma said!  And you don't argue with Momma! ;P

Date Posted: 9/6/2008 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 1,583
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:) 

I argue about this with MIL all the time.  "No, adding salt to the spaghetti water doesn't make it boil faster unless you add enough salt to make it like sea-water."

 

Date Posted: 9/6/2008 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1,194
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My mom always told me to add a peeled carrot to sauces that were to salty.

Date Posted: 9/6/2008 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 1,583
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That might work.  DW's aunt adds carrots to her sauce, and DW always says it's too sweet.

Date Posted: 9/8/2008 4:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2008
Posts: 42
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If you add a little sugar, you will get a less obviously sweet taste if you go with brown sugar rather than white.  It is a tad more mellow....