This is part of a series on ingredients to add to your homemade tomato sauce to give it a boost of flavor! For all the post in this series, click here to view them all.
Herbs (basil, oregano, thyme) are wonderful additions to any tomato sauce. Let's not forget the spices as well. Spices that are actually seeds can add great flavor to tomato sauce and are so easy to incorporate. Two of my favorites come straight from my own garden - dill and fennel seed. Even if you don't grow them yourself, you can find them at any well stocked spice section, best if you can buy them in bulk. Buying in bulk saves you money, saves your buying more than you need, and you normally get a fresh product that will keep it's flavor longer.
A couple years ago I planted dill in my garden. Now I have never have to do that again. Each year many dill plants just pop up, seemingly out of nowhere in my garden. I let them go and have plenty of fresh dill. The plant will produce seeds once the flowers die back. These seeds are so easy to gather and so plentiful. Some I let go and fall back to the grown for next year's crop. Dill adds a sweet, and slightly bitter flavor.
I grow Bronze fennel. It's a produce beautiful bronze colored leaves that I use as an herb or just toss into the salad. As with the dill, the fennel produces me a ton of seed. Fennel has a nice licorice flavor. If you are a fan of Italian sausage, you like fennel, as it is a prominent ingredient in most Italian sausages. I absolutely love it with tomatoes.
Adding them to the Sauce
The nice thing about the seeds is that they are small and soft enough to just add into the sauce. I didn't bother crushing them or anything, just threw a teaspoon of each type into my sauce. They pack a lot of flavor, so you shouldn't need that many. I like using both of them as they offer completely different flavors. I added carrots to this sauce as well as they are all kind of in the same family and it just seems approach to "keep the family together!".