What's the Difference Between Ragù and Ragout?
Do you know what sets them apart?
They’re both saucy, both hearty and both pronounced the same way, but ragù and ragout are not the same thing. Let’s break it down: Ragù is a class of Italian pasta sauces made with ground or minced meat, vegetables and, occasionally, tomatoes. Bolognese, for example, falls under the ragù umbrella. Ragout, on the other hand, is a slow-cooked French-style stew that can be made with meat or fish and vegetables—or even just vegetables. You can eat it on its own, or with a starch like polenta or couscous or pasta.
These very different dishes have one additional, great thing in common: Both are incredibly delicious and satisfying on a cold winter night. Here, our best recipes for both ragù and ragout.
This ragout—slightly sweet and not too rich—is a wonderful mix of winter vegetables and fruit.
Get your lamb fix while warming up your kitchen with this slow-braised stew.
Here’s a great way to use a whole chicken—gizzards, hearts and all.
Stephanie Izard's rich, chunky mushroom ragout is great on everything from seared halibut to sautéed scallops and pasta.
Tom Colicchio learned how to cook rabbit by reading Jacques Pépin’s La Technique and La Methode. Here, he braises tender rabbit with sweet tomatoes, spicy soppressata and olives.
This sauce, an ever-so-slightly creamy ragù made with ground beef, pancetta and ham, is flavored with tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes.
For the best results, make this sauce a day ahead of time. "When the ragù is allowed to cool overnight, the flavor and texture completely change,” says chef Johnny Monis.
This is an easy version of chef Andrew Carmellini’s wonderful pasta sauce.
To create the flavor of a long-simmered meat ragù in a fraction of the usual time, use concentrated tomato paste and pre-seasoned Italian sausage.
Most ragùs require beef, pork or veal—meats that would overwhelm Justin Smillie's light tomato-and-olive sauce here—so he opts for guinea hen or rabbit. Chicken thighs are also tasty and easier to find.