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A sauce too spicy

My spaghetti sauce turned out way too hot and spicy tasting... is there anything I can do to reduce the spiciness in it?

From: Kim

Kim was preparing a tomato based sauce with ground meat that turned into a kitchen disaster. At her request, we sent some suggestions about how to correct a sauce too spicy. She used technique number 4, but she drained before most of the liquid from the old sauce to further remove the excess of spice. She confirmed it worked. Cooking potato pieces in the sauce reduced the hot spicy taste drastically.

How to mend a sauce too spicy

We have some suggestions to repair a spaghetti sauce that turned out way too hot and spicy tasting. There are thing you can do to reduce the heat and spice in it. The best news is that these techniques work with many other sauces and dishes.

  • Potatoes absorb almost any flavor. Add some liquid to your sauce so it would not stick, heat it up and cook a few large peeled potato chunks until they are just tender –you don’t want them disintegrating into the sauce- and remove the potato before serving the sauce. This should work with any base. How many potato chunks you have to add depends on the quantity of sauce and how strong it is, you will have to estimate: the stronger the sauce, more chunks.
  • If the sauce has a tomato base, you could add canned, completely unseasoned, pureed tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes –Italian home cooks prepare their quick pasta sauces from canned tomatoes- and the mixture should be milder than the original sauce. You might end up with too much of it. Freeze half for another occasion.
  • An Alfredo style sauce should also freeze well, but you would have to prepare some unseasoned white sauce/gravy to blend with the spicy sauce. Once you have the seasoning right, freeze the extra sauce for another time.
  • Combine the potato chunk technique with the addition of unseasoned sauce.
  • If your sauce is so fiery that you think none of these suggestions would work, freeze it in ice cube compartments. Freeze it even if your sauce has ground meat or vegetable pieces, only consider pureeing before freezing if your sauce had large roasted vegetable pieces, for instance. Once frozen, put the cubes in a plastic bag and keep them in the freezer. You have now your very own natural seasoning. Add a cube or two to your soups, sauces and stews. Unhappily, you will need to prepare a new batch of spaghetti sauce, still the old one won’t have gone to waste and your future soups, sauces and stews will come out so good that you might want to prepare more of this in-house condiment... don’t forget to keep 3-4 Tbs from your old sauce to season the new one.

When faced with a kitchen disaster, don't despair and try to repair.