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When should I add the herbs to Spaghetti Bolognese?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm gonna make a spaghetti  Bolognese tomorrow. I generally add some dry herbs to it. Although I may try fresh. When should I add them? Obviously a spaghetti Bolognese takes a couple of hours to cook. If I add them to early will the flavour go out or will it make it better. I'm not sure if I'm going to add dry or fresh yet so if anyone could answer for both that would be great.

Ow by the way the herbs I normally use are, bay leaf, oregano and basil.

 

 

post #2 of 12
I would use the dry and toss them in midway.
But that's just me.

Petals
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #3 of 12

When I make bologenese I add the dry herbs while I'm still sauteeing the vegetables, but in the last minute. Right before I add the tomatoes.  Fresh herbs in my opinion would be added when serving the pasta with the bologenese sauce, like on the "pick up" in the restaurant, tossed through right at then end before plating.

post #4 of 12

I tend to steer away from dried herbs for this one.  They don’t seem traditional and if they’re out of balance, they remind me of how canned sauces taste.  However, I include garlic in my sachet, so what do I know about traditional anyway…

 

I use a sachet or sachets of: crushed garlic clove, bay leaf, black peppercorn, parsley stem, parm rind, and fresh thyme.  Additionally, I really believe in a mirepoix/pancetta mixture cooked in butter (add and season in stages), ground beef and pork, tomato paste, dry white wine, heavily reduced dark veal stock (ballistics gelatin), and chicken stock.  This combination can be creamed out on the pick-up.  Grind what seems to be a ton of black pepper into it.  Finish with parm.  If you need the flavor/color, drizzle with basil oil.

 

Oh, and for maximum flavor, you really need to brown the beef/pork mixture in batches.  You’re almost frying it, stirring continuously.  Use a lot of neutral oil, and dump into a colander to drain the excess.  Add next batch, etc.

 

Hope this helps and I wasn’t just rambling.  It’s the best bolo I’ve had.  And you can turn the whole thing into staff chili in a pinch.  Why?  Because they had bolo last night.  Boohoo.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've decided I'm going to use fresh oregano and basil and dried bay leaf. The reason I'm using a dried bay leaf is because I know it still adds a lot of flavour and lasts a long time. When I was reading a recipe they added the basil near the end so I think I will add the oregano a bit earlier but add the basil near the end. Does that sound like a good idea?

post #6 of 12

The rule of thumb with herbs is that dry go in at the beginning and fresh at the end. Pretty much regardless of recipe.

 

However, a traditional Bolognese doesn't (and shouldn't!) have any herbs or spices. Nor should it have any garlic. Italian cuisine offers very little interpretation and flexibility and that's one of its strengths. It's all about the slow cooking of the tomatoes and the correct initial frying of the mince and pancetta.

 

There are various Italian institutes such as the Accademia Italiana della Cucina that fight to protect the traditional Italian recipes for most of their cuisine. The flip side to that is that 20% of dishes are either relatively new (tiramisu) or have greatly changed since their original recipe (pesto Genoese - the original was a paste of walnuts and vinegar).

 

Try making Bolognese with tagliatelle and without herbs or spices and see what you think. A good article on it is here.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Personally I prefer it with herbs. Although that may be because I don't know how to cook it as well as Italians and so I need to add them for flavour. I'm sure an Italian chef would do it better than me without herbs. I think the way the English and possibly other countries cook it has gone quite far away from the traditional Italian way. But I don't  think the Bolognese(or ragu) sauce has been completely ruined unlike the Carbonarra which had been completely ruined in my opinion by English chefs.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Plongeur View Post
 

The rule of thumb with herbs is that dry go in at the beginning and fresh at the end. Pretty much regardless of recipe.

 

However, a traditional Bolognese doesn't (and shouldn't!) have any herbs or spices. Nor should it have any garlic. Italian cuisine offers very little interpretation and flexibility and that's one of its strengths. It's all about the slow cooking of the tomatoes and the correct initial frying of the mince and pancetta.

 

There are various Italian institutes such as the Accademia Italiana della Cucina that fight to protect the traditional Italian recipes for most of their cuisine. The flip side to that is that 20% of dishes are either relatively new (tiramisu) or have greatly changed since their original recipe (pesto Genoese - the original was a paste of walnuts and vinegar).

 

Try making Bolognese with tagliatelle and without herbs or spices and see what you think. A good article on it is here.


Interesting post . Reality though being what it is, I don't know of any chefs/restaurants that use  fresh herbs in that sauce. It all boils down to cost in the end.

That word we all would all love to use but simply cannot , "Original"

 

I enjoyed the article.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #9 of 12
+1
post #10 of 12

Bolognese in my experiences has been herbless. How ever, if you really want them in there, I would go fresh for sure, and add them at the very last possible minute.Their freshness with lighten the richness of the bolo and give the diners a spicy and aromatic texture against the pork. Herbs tend to either get bitter, or disappear completely, with extended cooking.

post #11 of 12


I have to agree with Petals & coco on this topic. Most places I have worked and there are at least 25 or so. The dried herbs go in when sautéing the meat and left in.. Fresh herbs  oregano, thyme, basil etc.  are put in at the beginning, but taken out when the flavor that you want is achieved.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 12
Don't forget tiny tiny amount cinnamon
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