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What time is it? It’s time for ragu! Celebrating the building blocks of 20th century America with pasta sauce and Ragtime. Rag(u)time - a classic ragu sauce inspired by the musical Ragtime!

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Ragtime, based on the 1975 novel by E.L. Doctorow (no, not Doctor Who), describes the colliding worlds in early 20th century New York through intertwining subplots involving characters representing various social groupings – high society, European immigrants and African Americans – combined with cameo appearances from contemporary celebrities.

 As for the actual plot… ooh look, what’s that behind you? <runs away>

A musical based on the book opened on Broadway in 1998 to a mixed reception by critics and had a limited run in London in 2003, with subsequent revivals in both locations. I very much enjoyed the original West End production but, looking back, have a clearer recollection of the Forbidden Broadway parody than the show itself! A new well-received production by the Barrington Stage Company is currently running in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

An important element of the plot might be that the immigrants bring with them recipes from European continent such as an Italian ragu. Ragu is a meat-based sauce commonly served with pasta, the most famous being from Bologna – otherwise known as a bolognese sauce (you may have heard of it). Each region of Italy has its own variation and my favourite version is one from Tuscany, and it is the same sauce as I used in Look At Me Lasagna Dee. It’s not my recipe, but you can check it out here. Serve with your favourite pasta, a twist of black pepper and some grated cheese.

Rag(u)time - a classic ragu sauce inspired by the musical Ragtime!

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