Mushroom Ragout (vegan)Difficulty: Easy
6 – 8servings
Despite trying to lose a little post-festive weight, I simply couldn’t resist this recipe. You cannot believe it is meat free… something to do with the combo of earthy mushrooms, lentils and walnuts I suppose. Rather handily, you can freeze any leftovers in portions.
chestnut mushrooms 500g
olive oil 4 tbsp, plus a drizzle
onion 1 large, finely chopped
carrots 2, finely chopped
celery 2 stalks, finely chopped
garlic 2 cloves, crushed
tomato purée 3 tbsp
vegan red wine 200ml
rosemary 1 sprig
basil ½ a small bunch, leaves picked, finely chopped
chopped tomatoes 400g tin
vegetable stock 600ml
bay leaves 2
balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp
wide pasta (such as mafalde, pappardelle or paccheri) 600g
sage ½ a small bunch, leaves picked
capers 1 tbsp, drained
vegan hard cheese shaved, to serve (optional)
Lentils (red or green) 250g drained
- Tip the walnuts into a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Transfer to a bowl, then do the same with the mushrooms.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Add the mushrooms and most of the walnuts, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened, all the water has evaporated and they have reduced by half. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and bubble for a minute, then add the rosemary, basil, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer. Add the lentils and bay. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, then simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes until thickened. Stir in the balsamic, and season. Top up with a little water during cooking if the ragu seems too thick. Taste, then remove the herbs and add more balsamic, to taste, if you like.
- Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 100ml of the water. Heat a drizzle of oil in a small frying pan and fry the sage and capers for 1 minute until crisp. Toss the pasta in the ragu, adding a splash of the cooking water, depending on how saucy you like it. Scatter with the crispy sage, capers and reserved walnuts, and vegan cheese, if liked.