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My marinara was strangely too acidic than before even though I used canned tomatoes which are normally ripe, but then I remembered I added white wine to the flavor base (which i reduced).

First I do not know how acidic wine or white wine is (is it? how much?)

Second, considering wine is acidic - can you cook the acidity off like you can with alcohol?

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You can' "cook off" acidity, but you can balance it. Typically in marinara, that is done with a small amount of sugar, or, better yet, half of a grated carrot per 28 oz can of tomatoes, sweated with your onion.

  • 1. Why sugar? I used sweet white wine which has lots of sugars. What would refined sugar do that the wine sugar wont do? 2. I assume carrots need some time to be sauteed or cooked to reduce their bite and soften them. Is that not the case when they are grated? – Bar Akiva Apr 3 '16 at 19:00
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    sugar balances acidity. Wine might help with the acidity of the tomatoes, but, as you mentioned, your marinara was too acidic. As for the carrot, saute with onion and garlic to soften, before adding your tomatoes. – moscafj Apr 3 '16 at 19:06
  • Oh I thought you said to add the grated carrot to the marinara (tomatoes in the pan) like you would add sugar. – Bar Akiva Apr 3 '16 at 19:26
  • To reduce their bite? I've never had a bitey carrot. – rumtscho Apr 3 '16 at 20:09
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A quarter teaspoon of calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) will neutralize acid nicely, without adding a nasty flavor as does sodium bicarbonate. Found this out while nixtamalizing corn for tortillas. It works well for over-acid tomatoes, but you want to avoid adding too much as the base itself is not very soluble. You can buy the stuff at any Mexican or Latin American grocery. It's also sold as "pickling lime" in late summer, when the cucumbers begin to ripen.

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