The Seasoning Mistake That Could Ruin The Flavor Of Your Homemade Sauce

If you're a homemade pasta sauce kind of person, then you know basil is a key seasoning ingredient to anyone's homemade pasta sauce. The fragrant herb is associated with freshness, perfect for any clean and light pasta dish. And while it's sometimes difficult to store and keep fresh in the kitchen, the flavors that basil provides are worth the struggle. Flavors of the herb include some sweet and also savory notes with a mint finish (due to it being in the mint family) and a peppery flavor to top it off (via MasterClass).

Basil can create full flavors in nearly any dish, especially pasta with homemade sauce. But you have to know when to add basil to the sauce, or it can ruin all your hard work. Too soon and the flavors disappear behind all the other ingredients. Use it too late and you may not get the flavors out of the leaves. Knowing when to use the basil, and what to do with it afterward, is beneficial for anyone who makes their own pasta sauce.

Add fresh basil at the end

When trying to make a tasteful pasta sauce full of bold flavors, you want to be sure to follow Michael Symon's herb rule of cooking: Use dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking process and fresh herbs at the end. This means you should really be adding your basil to your homemade pasta sauce at the end of its cooking process because basil has a specific chemical makeup that, when cooked, releases flavors quickly and for a short period of time, leaving basil cooked for a long time flimsy and flavorless (via The Kitchn).

Also, to avoid that gooey basil texture that may be in your sauce, you can take the basil out after it's cooked a little throughout the sauce. This will avoid any weird textures in the sauce that you may be unsure of. You can then top your whole dish off with fresh basil leaves like Martha Stewart does, so the pasta is given even cleaner flavors at the first bite. This will also give it some of that green color you want from basil, but an even more vibrant green than cooked basil provides. The final product should be flavorful and colorful, everything you could ask for in a pasta dish.