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A question about a recipe: Grandma DiLaura's Tomato and Meat Sauce

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I have a question about the recipe "Grandma DiLaura's Tomato and Meat Sauce" from cdilaura.

Have you substituted Italian sausage for the ground beef? If so, does that eliminate the need for baking soda? I have never seen that ingredient used in a tomato sauce.

asked by Lorenza over 5 years ago
2 answers 1422 views
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Christina is the Vice President of Commerce Operations for Food52.

added over 5 years ago

At christmas we cut italian sausage links into 3-inch long pieces and add them (par-baked) to the sauce with meatballs, pork short ribs and the whole onion (serving everything whole on a platter after it's done cooking). I have never substituted the loose ground beef for sausage. I'm sure it would be delicious and add a lot of flavor though.

The baking soda counterbalances the acidity of the tomato sauce, giving it a sweeter flavor in the end. I always add this regardless of if I add meat or not.

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added over 5 years ago

hmmm..don't know the recipe but am an italian who makes a whole lotta red sauce...
if you would prefer sausage - i say, go for it. but i would remove it from the casing and brown it like any other ground meat so it gets all broken up and caramelized. i personally don't care for links in my sauce. i agree that the baking soda is likely there to neutralize acidity...it's not something i have ever done though. i use good san marzano tomatoes, basil and a bit of sugar to sweeten.

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