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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?

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!

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.

Weeknight Ragù

Weeknight Ragù

Merrill Stubbs Merrill Stubbs
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)
Go to Recipe

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

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Sauce, Pasta, Weeknight Cooking, Amanda & Merrill, Dinner, Faster