I’m always on the lookout for weeknight meals that are healthy, easy to assemble, and versatile in the way they can be served. Inspiration for this recipe came from Patricia Wells' Vegetable Harvest, a cookbook that I’ve unfairly neglected until recently. I streamlined it to be a one-pot dish that can go from stove to oven to table. You start with a simple tomato sauce cooked on the stovetop; it’s just the right amount to coat the fresh mushrooms, cannellini beans, and artichoke hearts, creating a ragout of sorts. The oven does most of the work here, and the resulting dish is warm, comforting, and full of flavor. The ragout can be served in a number of ways: alongside a crusty baguette and green salad, over soft polenta, or as a bed for a crispy olive oil-fried egg. I’m planning to create a place for it in my weeknight rotation. —EmilyC
Test Kitchen Notes
This dish promises to be “healthy, easy to assemble, and versatile,” and these are not empty promises. I made the ragout exactly as written and served it with a fried egg (I think soft-boiled would be lovely next time). I found the ragout in need of some seasoning or other element to provide a bit of depth (red wine? bacon? basil?). When I reheated the leftovers for lunch, I added a good glug of balsamic, a sprinkle of dried oregano and basil, a pinch of brown sugar (I like my tomatoes a little sweet), and some Parmesan. It was delightful. —Jamie Smet
4 (can easily be scaled to serve a crowd)
olive oil, plus more for finishing the dish
small yellow onion, finely chopped (yielding about 1/2 cup)
small garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes, or to taste
14 1/2-ounce diced tomatoes (fire-roasted works well here)
large button or crimini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced 1/4-inch thick (yielding 4 to 5 cups)
cups cooked cannellini beans (or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
10- to 15-ounce jar of artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, plus a pinch of salt, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Season with salt to taste.
To the tomato sauce, add mushrooms, cannellinni beans, artichoke hearts, and lemon zest. It will seem like a lot of mushrooms but they'll cook down considerably. Stir to combine, and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Lay the rounds of pancetta over the vegetables in a single layer (if using).
Roast in the oven until the sauce has thickened and vegetables have browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. If using pancetta, it should be crispy in this amount of time. Season with salt, to taste. Taste again, and add a small amount of vinegar if some acidity is needed.