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It can be incredibly hard to think of tasty dinner ideas night after night, especially if you want to still feel excited about eating dinner, rather than relying on the same old recipes over and over again. But Rachael Ray (whose latest cookbook was released last month) somehow does it. She’s been sharing unique weeknight dinner ideas for as long as we can remember, and there’s no sign of her stopping any time soon. Ray just shared her recipe for a weeknight white ragu sauce on TikTok, and though we’ve never even contemplated the existence of white ragu, now that we know about it, it’s the only meal we can think about.
Traditional red ragu and ragu alla bolognese can take an entire day to make, depending on how strict your Nonna is. But, as always, Ray has found a way to shorten the process while still delivering big flavor.
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The vegetables that create the base for her sauce are very finely chopped fennel, onion, and celery, along with grated carrot. The veggies are sauteed in butter and olive oil, and are seasoned with salt, fennel pollen, and white pepper. Then, ground white meat chicken is added to the pan, along with some grated garlic and freshly grated nutmeg, before the pan is deglazed with white wine.
Delitaliana Premium Organic Fennel Pollen
To make the sauce, you simply take some of the starchy water from your pasta cooking pot, and add it to the ragu mixture along with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Toss with your cooked pasta vigorously until the cheese is melted and the sauce is emulsified – it should cling to your pasta noodles (Ray opts for wide tagliatelle).
It’s a comforting, hearty pasta dinner, but it’s a little lighter than a traditional beef ragu. The sweet flavor of fennel permeates the dish, and a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top keeps things fresh.
Pair with some crusty toasted bread so you can scoop up any white ragu left in your bowl, and you’ve got another flawless weeknight dinner idea from Rachael Ray.
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:
Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet
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