Autumn, Winter, Pasta

Mushroom and Lentil Ragu

I adore this ragu recipe, its rich and comforting, perfect on a cold winters evening or as an alternative to a Sunday lunch served with a fresh dark green salad and some crusty bread. I like to use Tagliatelle but you can use any shape pasta really.

SERVES:
4

Ingredients

600g mushrooms sliced

1 carrot finely diced

1 onion diced

1 celery stick diced

2 fresh bay leaves

4-5 sprigs of thyme

4 garlic gloves grated or crushed

2 tbsp. tomato puree

2 tbsp. tamari/soy

1 tbsp. vegan Worcester sauce (optional)

2 tins cherry tomatoes

30g porcini

1 vegetable stock pot or cube

Salt and pepper

2 tsp ketchup

1 heaped cup precooked brown/green/puy lentils

To serve

Vegan Parmesan

Fresh basil leaves

Green salad

Tagliatelle or pasta of choice for 4

crusty bread

Instructions

  1. Start by soaking your porcini mushrooms. Place in a jug and cover with 500ml boiling water and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, celery, carrot, bay leaves and 3 thyme sprigs to pan with 2 tbsp. groundnut or olive oil. Sautee on a medium to low heat and until vegetables are starting to soften and onions caramelise.
  3. Drain the porcini through a sieve lined with kitchen towel, reserving the liquid for later. Finely chop the mushrooms and add the pan. Stirring to combine.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, followed by the tamari, Worcester sauce, tomato puree, stir to combine.
  5. Add the cherry tomatoes, reserved porcini liquor, the lentils 2 tsp ketchup, the stock pot or cube, and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir till combine and let it come to a simmer, after which reduce to a low heat and allow to cook and reduce a little for a good ½ hour, longer if you have. Stirring occasionally.
  6. Once it is has reduced and thickened, check for seasoning, go easy on the salt as you have added a stock pot.
  7. I often turn the heat off and cover with a lid. Allowing all the flavours to mingle. Then reheat on the hob when I am ready to serve.
  8. When you are ready to serve have a fish around to remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. And add the leaves from the remaining sprigs and give it a good stir.
  9. Serve with pasta of your choice, fresh basil leaves, vegan parm and a green salad.

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