Do you know how to make the perfect bolognese sauce?
Are you curious about which herbs and spices can make your dish much more tantalizing? Well, look no further.
This article on the 8 best herbs and spices for bolognese will be your best guide.
It provides everything you need to know about incorporate these flavors into your dish – from techniques, to flavor descriptions and popular combinations.
Whether you’re making a spaghetti bolognese from scratch or just looking for interesting ways to spice up an existing recipe, this is the perfect article for you.
So don’t hesitate, find out all the secrets of perfecting your bolognese today.
Why Consider Using Herbs and Spices in Spaghetti Bolognese?
When it comes to spaghetti bolognese, herbs and spices can make a world of difference to the flavor of the dish.
Not only do they add flavor but they also deepen the aroma and kick up the heat.
Herbs and spices can give bolognese an extra layer of depth that regular ingredients may not be able to provide, allowing you to create a unique and delicious dish in just minutes.
It is important to note not all herbs are created equal.
Different herbs have different flavors and health benefits, so it is important to choose the right ones for your recipe while avoiding any potential risks.
Additionally, when selecting herbs and spices, it is essential to pay close attention to their freshness as dried or wilted herbs will almost always fail in potency and flavor compared to their fresh counterparts.
8 Best Herbs and Spices for Bolognese
When it comes to choosing herbs and spices for an Italian dish like Bolognese, you want to be sure that you’re selecting ingredients that can complement the bold flavors of the sauce.
We’ve rounded up eight of the best herbs and spices to use in your Bolognese sauce—anyone of these flavorful seasonings will bring out the best in your dish.
Marjoram is a common herb used in many Italian dishes, including sauces and Bolognese.
It’s an aromatic perennial herb from the mint family, native to the Mediterranean region but grown all over the world.
Marjoram imparts a sweet, floral flavor that lingers on the palate.
Try adding a pinch of marjoram to your Bolognese sauce with some freshly-ground black pepper before serving.
A little goes a long way so be careful to not over-season your dish.
Tarragon provides the subtle flavor of licorice to bolognese sauces and pairs particularly well with tomatoes.
It’s a strong-flavored herb, so caution should be taken when adding it to your sauce.
Start small and then add more as desired.
This pairing is especially great when you want a richer flavor in your bolognese – tarragon melts into the flavors of roasted or grilled tomatoes to add sweetness while still providing depth in every bite.
Tarragon is also known as estragon and can easily be found either fresh or as dry herbs in most grocery stores throughout the world.
Cumin, a member of the parsley family, is an aromatic spice commonly used in Mexican cuisine and Indian curry dishes.
It has a smoky taste and can be added to your finished Bolognese sauce to give it a slightly different flavor.
Cumin pairs well with many other herbs and spices, including garlic, oregano and coriander.
Doing this gives the classic Italian dish a flavorful middle eastern spin.
Just add a teaspoon of cumin at the end of cooking for an extra burst of flavor that will really make your meal unique.
Paprika is used to give Bolognese sauces a smoky flavor.
It’s a key ingredient in the classic Italian dish, and providing your sauce with a slight heat and richness to its flavor.
Paprika is made from dehydrated chili peppers that are ground into different color powders.
The intensity of the spice will depend on how much you are using, so be sure to add it bit by bit until you get the desired level of flavor.
Many recipes recommend using smoked paprika for an extra flavorful kick, but regular paprika works too if that’s all you have.
Adding a pinch of paprika to your Bolognese sauce will give it depth and complexity; just remember – less is more.
5. Red pepper flakes
Red pepper flakes add a subtle hint of spiciness to Bolognese sauce.
These finely ground chili peppers are available at most spice stores, and can be added to taste.
Be careful not to overdo it however, as too much red pepper can lead to an overpowering pungency, which will ruin the flavor of your dish.
If you do choose to use red pepper flakes in your Bolognese, remember that these spices tend to intensify over time.
A pinch should be enough for most recipes – start small and adjust as needed depending on your desired level of seasoning.
Adding small amounts of red pepper flake gives the classic bolognese sauce an extra kick without overpowering its other flavors.
6. Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds add a subtle sweetness that brings out the flavors of your other herbs and spices.
If you like, you can buy them preground or grind them yourself for the freshest flavor.
As with the other spices, you can measure out exactly how much you want to add to your sauce and adjust according to your taste.
Fennel seeds give an extra depth of flavor and are perfect for adding complexity to tomato sauces.
7. Italian seasoning blend
Italian seasoning is an aromatic blend of popular Italian herbs and spices, such as oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary.
What makes this seasoning blend special is the way it brings out the flavors in Bolognese sauce.
By adding just a tablespoon of this blend to your tomato-meat mixture, you will be able to achieve a full-bodied flavor with a well-balanced aroma.
To make your own Italian seasoning blend at home, all you need to do is mix equal parts oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram and rosemary.
You can also add some sage if desired for an extra punchy flavor.
Adjust the amount until you reach your desired taste profile.
For instance if you’d like your seasoning to be more pungent add a bit more oregano or thyme or if you’d like it to have a hint of sweetness then add some sage or marjoram.
Coriander, often called cilantro or Chinese parsley, is a must-have when making Bolognese sauce.
It has a slight citrus flavor with a pungent aroma.
As always, freshly ground coriander is best for maximum flavor.
You can sprinkle it in the sauce or make some coriander paste to add to your dish—just grind the seeds with some garlic and olive oil in a mortar until it is looser than a paste but still thick enough not to run off.
You can also use the leaves of the plant as seasoning or garnish for your culinary creation.
Coriander is also known for its powerful health benefits, so it’s great to include this herb in your cooking.
In conclusion, various herbs and spices can be used to create a delicious Bolognese that can be enjoyed by all.
By mixing the flavors of the different herbs, it is possible to bring out some amazing tastes from this classic Italian dish.
The eight best herbs for Bolognese include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, allspice, nutmeg and parsley.
Feel free to experiment with any combination or ratio of these herbs and spices depending on your own personal preferences.
Lastly, don’t forget to add a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to complete the flavor.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!