Tomatoe sauce and bolognese

33
10
Joined Apr 23, 2015
Hi everybody!

I struggle with tomato based sauces and bolognese,
It usually ends up to acidic or to sweet. I usually
Use vegetable oil, garlic, brown onion, tomato paste, canned tomatoes,
Brown sugar, salt, pepper, oregano for the tomato based sauce.
And for the bolognese I just add beef mince. I cook the onion,
Until translucent, then add garlic. I never give the onion and garlic caramelised colour.
Then add tomato paste, then mince if I do bolognese, then tomatoes, then seasoning, cook
For about 1,5-2 h. And mostly its to sweet or acidic, is it because of the
Tomatoes are acidic, and need to be cooked longer until the acidic go away?
But many chefs says that the acidic taste will just increase as its reducing, is this right or?
Will it help to add more sugar to cover the acidic taste?

Can anyone please suggest what to do or tell me how you do
Your bolognese/Napoli sauce?
 
3,291
726
Joined May 5, 2010
The recipes of yesterday told us to cook the tomato sauce for a long time.

These days tomatoes are not as acidic as they once were, so prolonged cooking of a sauce is no longer necessary.

Your addition of brown sugar has me wondering if it is necessary? That would explain the sweetness as your sauce reduces.

Some Chefs would use a pinch of baking soda to combat the acidity too. Red wine in Bolognese as helps curb the acidity.
 
3,355
46
Joined May 29, 2006
Instead of adding sugar try about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda .It cuts the acidity without making it sweet and sauce won't burn from sugar.
 
33
10
Joined Apr 23, 2015
Never tried baking soda, won't you get a wierd flavour from that? Isn't red wine acidic as well? But I will try the baking soda:)
 
806
296
Joined May 25, 2015
There are probably as many ways to make Marinara sauce as there are regions in Italy. I'm told by my Italian wife and relatives that my sauce is as good as any they have had. I think you need to start with a better tomato- I prefer imported San Marizano (canned). I use whole tomatoes and crush them by hand. I saute my chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are translucent then add them to the tomatoes which I have brought to a boil. Then I reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for a few minutes then use a stick blender to puree. Add chopped fresh basil and continue to simmer from 30 minutes (classic Marinara) to a couple of hours for a thick sauce. Taste along the way and add salt if you think it tastes too sweet.

I was always told that oregano doesn't belong in tomato sauce (with the exception of pizza sauce) but that depends on who you talk to. Also, adding beef to marinara sauce does not make bolognese, it just makes meat sauce.
 
31
10
Joined Apr 15, 2015
I'm not a chef, but I live near Bologna :D

here the grannys (owners of the original recipe :°D ) put, with onion and garlic at the beginning, finely chopped carrot and celery

minced are 2/3 beef 1/3 pork... in the houses also put in minced leftovers (mortadella, ham, bacon...everything)

when minced became brown, add a glass of red wine

than salt and smells (spices and aromatics)

than smashed tomatoes

and cook at low flame for 2 or 3 hours, adding water when it dry
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Try a splash of cream (whole milk will work  if you don't keep cream around) at the end of cooking time.

This will take care of the acidity as well as negate the need for sugar.

mimi
 
33
10
Joined Apr 23, 2015
There are probably as many ways to make Marinara sauce as there are regions in Italy. I'm told by my Italian wife and relatives that my sauce is as good as any they have had. I think you need to start with a better tomato- I prefer imported San Marizano (canned). I use whole tomatoes and crush them by hand. I saute my chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are translucent then add them to the tomatoes which I have brought to a boil. Then I reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for a few minutes then use a stick blender to puree. Add chopped fresh basil and continue to simmer from 30 minutes (classic Marinara) to a couple of hours for a thick sauce. Taste along the way and add salt if you think it tastes too sweet.

I was always told that oregano doesn't belong in tomato sauce (with the exception of pizza sauce) but that depends on who you talk to. Also, adding beef to marinara sauce does not make bolognese, it just makes meat sauce.

tomato sauce marinara aren't that more for fish and seafood dishes? I've tried the San Marzano tomatoes they are really good!
 
33
10
Joined Apr 23, 2015
I'm not a chef, but I live near Bologna :D
here the grannys (owners of the original recipe :°D ) put, with onion and garlic at the beginning, finely chopped carrot and celery
minced are 2/3 beef 1/3 pork... in the houses also put in minced leftovers (mortadella, ham, bacon...everything)
when minced became brown, add a glass of red wine
than salt and smells (spices and aromatics)
than smashed tomatoes
and cook at low flame for 2 or 3 hours, adding water when it dry

Thanx for sharing! I never really tried a true bolognese, would be interesting to give it a try!
 
33
10
Joined Apr 23, 2015
Try a splash of cream (whole milk will work  if you don't keep cream around) at the end of cooking time.
This will take care of the acidity as well as negate the need for sugar.

mimi


Will give milk and cream a try to, my mother always put a lot of cream in meat sauces and it taste really nice actually:)
 
4,196
1,083
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Can we please ask our Bolognian friend about the milk/cream? I have a recollection that it is traditional but nearly completely cooked out before tomato is added to the meat.
 
31
10
Joined Apr 15, 2015
Thanx for sharing! I never really tried a true bolognese, would be interesting to give it a try!
you're welcome! well now you can try, surely I'd like to know how would be the result :D
Can we please ask our Bolognian friend about the milk/cream? I have a recollection that it is traditional but nearly completely cooked out before tomato is added to the meat.
well, I know noone that put milk or cream in the ragu'...it isn't a bad idea but I think the risk is to neutering the taste of the meat and the aromas...in addition, it shortens considerably the expiration time. Here I make 1kg meat ragu' at time, peserved in the fridge it remains perfect for 5-7 days, or you can freeze in portions. I've never had problems with tomatoes acidity, maybe for the quality of the tomaoes or for the long cooking...but I think adding a little spoon of brown sugar is a good solution.

here, the tomatoes (peeled tomatoes or tomato sauce, if fresh tomatoes you need to cook them separately before!) is added when dries the liquid that is in the meat (the water that the meat make out when you salt, and the wine)

:)

edit: I forgot a tip, don't prepare the ragu' and use it immediaty, leave it time to relax, if you make it in the evening it would have a better taste for the next day's launch!
 
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4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Can we please ask our Bolognian friend about the milk/cream? I have a recollection that it is traditional but nearly completely cooked out before tomato is added to the meat.
Some add (milk, cream, parm rind) in the beginning some add at the end...while some do not add it at all.

I am in the add at the end camp just because it is cream and have had it break /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif  and that my friend was not good eats...at all.

Here is a good thread with a little bit of everything....... [thread="80705"]Needed Bolognese Sauce​[/thread]  .....

mimi
 
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cerise

Banned
1,008
33
Joined Jul 5, 2013
Hi everybody!

I struggle with tomato based sauces and bolognese,
It usually ends up to acidic or to sweet. I usually
Use vegetable oil, garlic, brown onion, tomato paste, canned tomatoes,
Brown sugar, salt, pepper, oregano for the tomato based sauce.
And for the bolognese I just add beef mince. I cook the onion,
Until translucent, then add garlic. I never give the onion and garlic caramelised colour.
Then add tomato paste, then mince if I do bolognese, then tomatoes, then seasoning, cook
For about 1,5-2 h. And mostly its to sweet or acidic, is it because of the
Tomatoes are acidic, and need to be cooked longer until the acidic go away?
But many chefs says that the acidic taste will just increase as its reducing, is this right or?
Will it help to add more sugar to cover the acidic taste?

Can anyone please suggest what to do or tell me how you do
Your bolognese/Napoli sauce?
My suggestions - First, use the freshest best ingredients - tomatoes that are in season, best olive oil, and fresh herbs. Deseed the tomatoes, as they can add bitterness, and remove the skins. Try to avoid canned tomatoes. San marzanos are okay, but still it's canned. Use fresh. As I recall, they come already crushed.  Some brands come with a bay leaf or oregano.  I pull it out, as I don't care for the taste. Okay for the crockpot. Adding brown sugar is new to me.  Not saying it's right or wrong, but personally, don't see the need for adding sweetness/sugar.

Re tomato paste - how much did you add?  Tomato paste, imo, should be used sparingly.  It adds too much sweetness and the pucker factor, and is a canned (can be tinny) ingredient.

Rather than beef mince, you might try veal, or eggplant.

Bolognese is different, in certain aspects.  Add cream or milk or white wine.  Here is a a description of Bolognese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolognese_sauce

Best bet for success, keep it fresh and uncanned.
 
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857
76
Joined May 27, 2013
...bolognese, it just makes meat sauce.
All tomatoes are different. I taste before adding sugar, and then do it little by little instead of just adding X amount of sweetness to X quarts of sauce. Sometimes it doesn't need it at all. I also agree that tomato paste is very sweet. It's concentrated tomatoes, like sun dried. Similar effect to reducing for hours. I've have found adding (red) wine makes it more acidic, and a smallish carrot finely chopped is a good substitute for either brown or white sugar. 

I also have started roasting tomatoes before adding to sauce (which reduced the cooking time), and I never use canned unless it's winter - but I usually roast, blend, and freeze in september. They last a bit into the winter, and then I make white bolognese instead (carrots, celery, onions, sausage instead of ground meat, fennel seed, beef stock, white wine, cream, etc). To roast, I quarter tomatoes, add olive oil, S&P, toss with some garliccloves, and roast for 30 minutes until the skin is toasty and bubbling off. Cool, and remove the skin. I use all the released liquid. 

I've never heard of baking soda to reduce acidity, BTW. I'll have to try that in a small batch. 
 
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cerise

Banned
1,008
33
Joined Jul 5, 2013
 
All tomatoes are different. I taste before adding sugar, and then do it little by little instead of just adding X amount of sweetness to X quarts of sauce. Sometimes it doesn't need it at all. I also agree that tomato paste is very sweet. It's concentrated tomatoes, like sun dried. Similar effect to reducing for hours. I've have found adding (red) wine makes it more acidic, and a smallish carrot finely chopped is a good substitute for either brown or white sugar. 

I also have started roasting tomatoes before adding to sauce (which reduced the cooking time), and I never use canned unless it's winter - but I usually roast, blend, and freeze in september. They last a bit into the winter, and then I make white bolognese instead (carrots, celery, onions, sausage instead of ground meat, fennel seed, beef stock, white wine, cream, etc). To roast, I quarter tomatoes, add olive oil, S&P, toss with some garliccloves, and roast for 30 minutes until the skin is toasty and bubbling off. Cool, and remove the skin. I use all the released liquid. 

I've never heard of baking soda to reduce acidity, BTW. I'll have to try that in a small batch. 
And, you're quoting me because why? 
 
857
76
Joined May 27, 2013
 
And, you're quoting me because why? 
Because you mentioned a few relevant things, like tomato paste and canned tomatoes vs fresh.

I'll remove the quote it it makes you feel better. Sorry I offended you. 
 
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31
10
Joined Apr 15, 2015
This was my impression. Traditional Bolognese sauce has carrot (which removes the need for sugar) and celery, milk and different kinds of meat, yes? Like a ragu?
not LIKE a ragu'...bolognese sauce IS a ragu' (indeed...is THE ragu! :D here, when someone sais "I've eaten pasta with ragu'" means with bolognese sauce :D )

and I've never known anybody here that put milk or cream in it. though, in many cases ragu' is associated with bechamel (lasagne, baked pasta...)...and well...is quite like add milk in it XD
 
3,291
726
Joined May 5, 2010
I worked for some Italians once that made what they called a "Country Ragu." It had fennel seed ground up and sauteed with onion and garlic.

I remember a white wine reduction, then tomatoes, herbs and spices added. Italian sausage was hand pinched into the simmering sauce/

Cream and a large amount of butter added at the end to finish.
 

cerise

Banned
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Joined Jul 5, 2013
Maybe I shouldn't believe everything I read on the web, lol.

"Of course, there is no single recipe of Bolognese Sauce, but the basic ingredients must be the same. It’s a serious thing too: in 1982, the Academia Italiana della Cucina officially registered the recipe with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. The classic recipe must contain: onions, celery, carrots, pancetta, ground beef, tomatoes, milk and white wine."

http://foodnouveau.com/destinations/europe/italy/how-to-make-an-authentic-bolognese-sauce/
 

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