Amanda & Merrill

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

January 15, 2018

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?

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!

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

Shop the Story

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!

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!

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.

What are your Monday night recipes? Let us know in the comments!

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Former Associate Editor at Food52; still enjoys + talks about food.

1 Comment

christine M. January 19, 2018
its all about your seasonings....I've made the one hour versen and the 8 hour versions of ragu or any pasta sauce(my grandmothers verson from the old country.
All sauces taste a bit "better" when you add "some prrk" to them. Whether a chunck of boneless country rib(braised first) or cooked Italian sauage.
Another trick? if using "fresh parmesion", cut off a "piece of that hard agged "brine" on the end of the chunk of cheese and throw it into the pot! pull out once your sauce is done! Enjoy!