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Ragù or Ragout?

By Cheryl Forberg, RD

Their pronunciations are similar but they’re very different dishes. Ragù is Italian and defined as a meat-based sauce made to serve with pasta. The meat can be beef, pork, chicken, or lamb. Sometimes it’s ground or minced; other times larger pieces of meat are used. Most of us are at least familiar with Sauce Bolognese, a classic tomato-based Ragù usually made with ground beef.

The French ragout is a simmered stew of fish, meat, or vegetables. While it could be served with pasta or other starches such as couscous or polenta, it can definitely stand on its own. If you love to make simmering stews, whether vegan or loaded with meat, chances are you’ve already made a ragout. It doesn’t have to be laborious or simmered for hours however.

This recipe is an easy but satisfying dish that is long on flavor but short on timing. It’s also very forgiving. Try experimenting with different vegetables, beans, and herbs. This may become your favorite go-to for a quick weeknight meal.

Bean Ragout with Wilted Greens
This simple dish is great for a weeknight supper, or a make ahead for lunch to heat up at work. It’s also delish when topped with a fried or poached egg.

Serves 4 as a side-dish or two as a main course.

Ingredients:

Ingredients for Bean Ragout with Wilted Greens

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 medium head of fennel, trimmed and cut in julienne
1 15 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
4 cups baby spinach or baby kale
1 package Melissa’s Steamed Six Bean Medley
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:
In a large [nonstick] saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and fennel; sauté until soft and lightly golden, about 6 minutes.

In a large [nonstick] saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and fennel; sauté until soft and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, minced garlic, and anchovies; sauté about 4 minutes without browning the garlic. Stir in the spinach, cooked beans, and broth.

Cook until the spinach is wilted and the beans are just heated through, about 3 minutes.

Cook until the spinach is wilted and the beans are just heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with the parmesan. Serve immediately!
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