Pot of spaghetti bolognese on a wooden surface
Instant Coffee Is The Secret Ingredient That Wakes Up Spaghetti Sauce
In 2015, British supermarket chain Sainsbury's started putting flyers in stores, suggesting twists for everyday meals, which included adding instant coffee
to spaghetti bolognese.
As Sainsbury's head of consumer PR for food, Cath Wilkins, told BuzzFeed, “Coffee adds an underlying depth of flavor that helps to balance the sweetness of the tomato-based ragu."
While instant coffee’s acidity helps tenderize the pieces of meat in the meat-based sauce, its bitterness adds a contrasting flavor, making your usual spaghetti sauce more complex.
Sainsbury's bolognese recipe suggests dissolving a teaspoon of instant coffee in hot stock and pouring the liquid into the ground beef, tomato, and aromatics boiling on the stove.
That said, the key to adding a savory richness to your spaghetti sauce without letting the coffee overpower all the other flavors is to use the coffee in small quantities only.