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What to add to bland bolognese?

I made a pumpkin bolognese sauce, with veal and pork, tomatoes, ginger, white wine, cream, etc -- and despite all that it is rather bland. I have a bunch in my freezer -- any suggestions for flavorings I can add to make it better?

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  1. Salt


    Parmesan cheese

    Roasted or minced garlic and parsley

    Other herbs, such as oregano and basil

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanaB

      This sounds like the right stuff, except you didn't mention chopped and sauteed onions.

    2. Grind up 1.4 lb of chicken livers and add to it.(use a food processor). Also, grated carrots.

      1. fresh coarsely ground black pepper and sauteed mushrooms.and tomato paste if the depth and acid needs kicking up.a bit of soy sauce for more depth. maybe bacon for salt.and more garlic.

        1. I say just add more salt and let it simmer gently w/ the lid off a little longer...

          1. If by "Bland" you mean flat, you could try some fresh squeezed lemon juice and or parsley. Both have a refreshing quality on sauces.


            1. A couple of weeks ago I posted a pork and fennel pasta sauce I was planning. (Celery, onion, fennel, carrot, pork, white wine, salt, pepper) bland would be being extremely unkind, it was however quite subtle. I 'livened' it up by serving with toasted fennel seeds and pecorino. I don't know how fennel and pumpkin work as I don't cook pumpkin but maybe a lively toasted seed would work!?!

              1. You definately need to sautee some onions first, and then adding a little sun-dried tomato with some of the packing oil just lifts the flavor of the base. Start building from there. It's hard to "fix" once you've got a completed product. A little red wine is also nice.


                1. I second nutmeg, fennel seeds, carmelized onions, fried tomato paste, lemon or other acid, parmesan or pecorino

                  1. Pancetta and pecorino romano.

                    1. Although not really and Italian flavor cumin is great with pork AND pumpkin.

                      1. Am I the only one who's never heard of a pumpkin bolognese? Anyway, sounds like it needs some heat, try some fresh or dried chilies.