Tomato sauce Questions & Answers (All you need to know!)

This is everything you need to know about marinara sauce when it comes to low carb living. I’m going to be talking all things pasta marinara, and keto marinara sauce. I’ll be answering questions you have emailed to me, and questions that I’ve found in my many years of low carb cooking.

What is marinara sauce?

Marinara sauce is nothing more than tomatoes cooked with garlic and herbs, usually basil, oregano and onions. The “marinara” comes from the fact that this type of sauce is typically used on pasta dishes with seafood or red meat. It’s Italian-American cuisine at its finest!

There are few types of marinara sauces, they all are delicious in their own way!

What kind of tomato sauce do you use in a lasagna?

Most people would answer with the most common marinara sauce. But have you ever wondered, what are the ingredients needed to make this kind of sauce? I discovered how simple and easy it can be to make my own version of a marinara sauce!

For lasagna I use the marinara sauce with minced meat. To me, this is the most delicious of them all.

Does adding sugar to tomato sauce reduce acidity?

Yes, adding sugar to tomato sauce reduces the acidity. Sugar is an excellent buffer for acidic foods and works well in reducing the acidity of tomatoes. To be honest, I doubt you’ll even notice the difference.

Sugar has carbs and usually there is more than enough in the sauce to begin with. I would try it without first.

You can also add a pinch of baking soda if there is too much acidity which will neutralize it almost immediately.

tomato sauce in a white ceramic bowl with wooden spoon and tomato vine with basil in the background

What is the alternative to sugar in order to cut the acidity when making a tomato sauce?

Pinch of baking soda. Baking soda helps to neutralize the acid in foods.

Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is a neutralizer of acid. In this case it will neutralize the acid in tomatoes and this is how it works:

Tomatoes always have a certain amount of natural acid present. This is why they are often used in recipes that are made with wine or other types of alcohol.

However, the acidity can sometimes become too high when cooking tomatoes. This will result in an unpleasant, sour taste. When this happens it is time to neutralize the acid by adding baking soda.

What is the best way to avoid a watery marinara sauce?

A lot of things can cause the sauce to become watery.

Use whole peeled canned tomatoes such as San Marzano’s because these are much less likely to contain a lot of water. For those that do, just squeeze out as much liquid as you can before adding them to your saucepan or slow cooker.

Another mistake you can make which will cause your sauce to become watery is adding too much liquid. There should never be more than a cup of liquor in the recipe.

If you’re using canned tomatoes use a can of crushed tomatoes rather than diced or whole tomatoes because whole juice and solid pieces tend to let more liquid get trapped inside.

What can I use for a substitute ingredient if I run out of spaghetti sauce?

If you run out of spaghetti sauce, there are other products you can use as a substitute if necessary.

Canned crushed tomatoes can be used as a substitution for spaghetti sauce.

Tomato puree is also known as purée and tomato purée. It should not contain any pieces or chunks and should be somewhat watery like traditional spaghetti sauce.

As for other substitutions that can be made when you are out of marinara sauce is using tomato paste. Just be sure to take note of the ingredients listed on the container because some brands contain sugar.

From the choices above, tomato purée is the closest to spaghetti sauce. It should be easy to find in your local grocery store right next to canned tomatoes.

What’s the biggest difference between tomato paste and marinara sauce?

The main thing that separates tomato paste from marinara sauce is the water content.

Both tomato paste and marinara sauce are made with tomatoes, however this is mostly where they both share commonalities. Tomato paste has a very high concentration of solids like the skin and seeds, whereas traditional marinara sauce has a much higher liquid content.

Tomato paste also tends to be thicker than traditional marinara sauce and has a much bolder flavor.

Are crushed tomatoes the same as tomato puree?

Crushed tomatoes are the same as tomato puree.

The only difference between the two is that crushed tomatoes are made with whole pieces of tomato whereas tomato puree is very smooth, liquidy and has no pieces or chunks.

Tomato puree is also known as purée and tomato purée. It should not contain any pieces or chunks and should be somewhat watery like traditional spaghetti sauce.

tomato marinara in a saucepan with beefsteak tomatoes and basil in the background

What are the differences between passata, tomato puree/paste and canned tomatoes?

Passata is a liquid with no tomato pieces or tomato chunks.

Tomato puree/paste is a liquid with no pieces or chunks and is very smooth like water, but it will make your sauce slightly more thick.

Canned tomatoes are whole peeled tomatoes that have been crushed and contain both juice and solids.

Passata is typically used in recipes where the tomatoes are being blended. Canned tomatoes are best used when you want broken down pieces of tomato in your sauce. Tomato paste is usually used as a thickening agent in soups, stews and sauces.

Can you use passata and puree interchangeably?

No, you should not use passata and tomato puree interchangeably.

Passata is a type of tomato sauce made without any skin or seeds and it should not contain any chunks or pieces.

Tomato puree is thicker than passata and it is made with the whole tomato.

Can I substitute crushed tomatoes for canned tomato soup?

Yes, you can.

Canned tomato soup is basically the same as crushed tomatoes because it has no pieces or chunks of tomatoes in it and it is made with pureed canned tomatoes.

Just keep in mind that there are often added ingredients like sugar within tomato soup, so be sure to check the labels before purchasing if this is something you

Is it best to make marinara sauce in a slow cooker?

Yes, marinara sauce can be made in a slow cooker.

If you want to use a slow cooker, get one that has at least an 8-quart capacity. This way you will have enough room to cook the sauce without it boiling over or spilling out of the crock pot.

This is perfect for meal prep since you can freeze the marinara sauce or use it for future meals.

If you want to create a thicker sauce, just let the marinara sauce simmer longer before serving.

What is the best way to remove seeds and excess liquid from canned tomatoes?

One of the easiest ways to remove excess liquid from canned tomatoes is to use a food mill or a strainer.

Simply run your tomato sauce through either one of these two kitchen tools and you’ll notice how much more solid it becomes.

Another way to remove seeds and excess liquid from canned tomatoes is by draining and squeezing them with your hands or a kitchen towel.

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