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Seasonings for Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti is one of the most popular meals for many people and one of the biggest keys for fantastic home-cooked spaghetti is to have great tasting sauce. To have tasty homemade sauce, the seasoning should be right. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to select the best herbs and spices for making the sauce, with just a little knowledge.

Oregano

Many cooks wouldn’t even consider making spaghetti sauce without oregano. This herb is widely used in Turkish, Grecian, Spanish, Middle Eastern and also in Italian dishes, particularly in the United States, and especially in tomato based sauces. Part of the reason for this is because oregano can bring out the flavor of other spices that are added, and partly because of the flavor and aroma it imparts to the sauce. 

Basil

Basil is another herb that goes well with tomato dishes. Though often used in Indian and Asian meals, basil lends itself well to spaghetti sauce. The flavor is somewhat sweet and the herb is quite aromatic, even when dried. There are also many kinds of basil. Fresh basil tends to be better in spaghetti sauce than the dried version, however cooking can destroy the flavor so it is best if it is stirred in when the sauce is almost done.

Thyme

Another aromatic herb, thyme is commonly used for vegetable dishes and in tomato sauces. Though the flavor and aroma are pleasant, this herb can over-power other seasonings, so it should be used in smaller amounts than those of other herbs in the sauce. Thyme can be added to the sauce early in the cooking, though, as it handles cooking well.

Rosemary

It is usually the leaves of rosemary plants that are used in sauces and salads, however the fresh blossoms are also suitable for use in spaghetti or other pasta. The fresh herb is preferable to the dried leaves, but the dried leaves can be crushed and used in spaghetti sauce as well. This herb can also be added early in the cooking process.

Summer savory

Summer savory is an herb that adds a bit of a tang to spaghetti sauce. It isn’t hot-tasting, but the flavor can be a unique and great addition to tomato based sauces. This herb isn’t usually considered to be nearly as aromatic as some of the other seasonings that would go in the sauce, however it blends well and has a rather different flavor.

Sage

As surprising as it might seem that sage is not as commonly used as other herbs in home cooking, it is a terrific addition to spaghetti sauce, particularly if the sauce contains meat. Like other herbs used in the sauce, sage has many reported medicinal benefits. It gives good flavor to meat sauces, even if the medicinal properties are ignored. This herb can be used fresh or dried.

Garlic

While garlic is often not thought of as an herb, it is a tremendous addition to spaghetti sauce. Chopped, diced, minced or crushed, garlic usually releases flavor during cooking. Not only does garlic add to the overall flavor, it might even increase the appetite of the people who are eating it. Garlic tends to have a more robust flavor if it is fresh rather than if it is dried, in powdered form.

Parsley

Chopped parsley almost seems to be made for pasta dishes, such as spaghetti. The flavor tends to be subtle but it mixes well with the other seasonings in the sauce. It also can add a splash of color and might be helpful for keeping a person’s breath smelling good. Fresh parsley is normally preferable to dried, though either can be used in the spaghetti sauce.

There are several other herbs and spices that can be used for terrific spaghetti sauce. However, the herbs listed above are very good as a starting point to work from. How much of each to add is a matter of personal taste. Still, these seasonings will often lead to an outstanding plate of spaghetti that many people will love, if given the chance.