I love Ragu. My mum makes brilliant Ragu, I’ve eaten loads of different types over the years and it’s healthy, full of flavour and very quick to rustle up in a hurry. Here is my version if you want to have a go!
What you need to know:
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Ingredients for 5 portions:
1 onion chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
2 carrots diced
4 garlic cloves crushed
2 tsp of vegetable stock powder
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp chili powder or chopped chillies (optional)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire Sauce
8 oz / 250 g chopped vegetables: courgettes, peppers and aubergines
3 large handfuls of fresh or frozen spinach
1 oz / 50 g red lentils or buckwheat
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes with basil
1 x 400g jar of pasta or bolognese sauce
pinch of salt
tsp of each oregano, basil, black pepper
8 oz / 250 g wheat free pasta or rice (I usually use one hand as measurement per portion)
a handful of shaved Parmesan or grated cheddar cheese
1. In a medium saucepan put the lentils or buckwheat in cold water enough so that they are submerged but do not drown them. About 2 parts water to the lentils/buckwheat should be ample. We want to retain as much flavour as possible. Boil on a high heat until they are cooked and soft. They should have absorbed the water so you don’t need to strain them. During cooking if they start to look dry add a small amount of water so they don’t stick and burn but don’t over do it.
2. While the lentils/buckwheat are cooking put the onion, celery and carrots in a large saucepan and add the stock powder and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan to 1cm deep. Cook over a medium heat until the vegetables are soft.
3. Add the garlic, chillies, tomato purée and balsamic vinegar/Worcestershire Sauce. Boil on a high heat for a minute then add the veg, lentils, tomatoes, pasta sauce and boil for a further 5 mins.
4. Turn to a simmer, add the salt, pepper, oregano and basil and continue cooking for 20 mins or until the pasta/rice is cooked. In the meantime cook the pasta or rice.
5. Serve topped with parmesan or cheddar cheese and/or a green salad.
Tip: For an extra delicious kick add a splash of red wine-especially tasty when using chillies and very warming!