The sizzle of meat browning in a pan, the aroma of simmering tomato sauce, and the promise of a flavorful pasta dish -- few culinary experiences are as satisfying as making a hearty meat sauce. For those who enjoy a little heat in their meal, adding red pepper flakes to the meat sauce can be a game-changer. However, there's an art to spicing up your meat sauce that requires considering your dining companions' preferences.
Red pepper flakes, with their fiery kick, can take your meat sauce to the next level. But before you liberally sprinkle them into your simmering sauce, pause and think about who's coming to dinner. What do you want to be spicy, and who will be sharing your meal?
One clever approach to introducing heat into your meat sauce is to add the red pepper flakes directly to the meat as it browns. By seasoning the meat with red pepper flakes, you will lend more spice to the meat than the rest of the sauce. Eaters can potentially pick some of it out and still enjoy the flavorful meat sauce without feeling overwhelmed by heat. Not everyone has the same tolerance for spicy foods, after all. If you're sharing your meal with guests who might be sensitive to heat, you should also know that adding the red pepper flakes to the meat at the beginning can flavor the whole dish. Adding it towards the end can lead to more subtle heat.
Read more: Tips You Need When Cooking With Ground Beef
Rethink How You Serve The Spice
On the other hand, if you're dining with a group of spice enthusiasts or simply prefer your entire sauce to have a fiery kick, go ahead and add the red pepper flakes directly to the sauce. The key to balancing the flavor when using red pepper flakes is to taste and adjust during cooking to find the perfect level of heat. Remember that you can always add more, but you can't take those flakes away once they've been added in.
Consider serving grated Parmesan cheese or a dollop of creamy ricotta alongside the meal, too. These dairy additions can help temper the heat for those who need it. If you know your dining companions have low spice tolerance, you can leave the pepper flakes out and serve them separately in a small bowl on the table. Those who wish to add it to their meal can easily do so, while others can opt out entirely. This helps to ensure that everyone can enjoy the meal together.
So, whether you're cooking for a crowd or dining solo, remember this smart tip when adding red pepper flakes to your hearty Bolognese or a similar sauce. By thinking ahead and tailoring the heat to suit everyone's preferences, you'll create a delicious, memorable meal that satisfies all palates at the table.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.