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Yes, You Can Make Ragù in an Hour, on Monday Night, and Do Other Things, Too

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As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we're making the effort to revisit some gold recipes and pick the brains that invented them. Today, it's co-founder Merrill Stubbs, on this low-effort, high-reward weeknight ragù (and others!).

Nikkitha Bakshani: When was the last time you made this dish?

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Merrill Stubbs: In the fall and winter, I make this ragù, or something very similar, at least every other week (we're big on pasta in my house). The last time I made it was last weekend!

Weeknight Ragù
Weeknight Ragù

NB: You previously stated you'd eat this over baked potatoes, winter squash, and English muffins. What else?

MS: My favorite is actually a baked sweet potato (the sweet and salt/acid combo is A+). I also like it with polenta and it would be great as a topping for savory oatmeal!

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NB: Name 5 different things you could do as you make this ragu?

MS: Play with my kids, watch an episode of Master of None, answer emails, catch up on some reading, make a cake!

Chocolate Dump-It Cake

Chocolate Dump-It Cake by Amanda Hesser

Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos

Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos by Merrill Stubbs

NB: You published this recipe in 2010, when Food52 was a little fledgling. A lot has changed! Would you say this recipe has been a steady feature this whole time? (And are there others?)

MS: It has definitely been a steady feature in my life; the others I can think of off the top of my head that have stayed in rotation are these slow-cooked pork tacos, my mom's amazing banana bread, these ricotta crostini, and this applesauce cake. I think of them all as low-lift, high reward recipes—the results far outweigh the effort you put in.

NB: If this dish were a famous person, who would it be and why?

MS: It would have to be someone who speaks her mind, who understands and appreciates tradition but isn't overly concerned with staying inside that box. It's basically Mindy Kaling.

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Weeknight Ragù

Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill Merrill Stubbs
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Makes about 6 cups
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (beef, lamb, pork, turkey, sausage, etc. or a combination)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 handful fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaves, etc.)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
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What are your Monday night recipes? Let us know in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Italian, Pasta, Dinner, Faster, Sauce, Amanda & Merrill