Lentil ragù

Lentil ragù

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(75 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 6

Struggle to get your five-a-day? This superhealthy ragù will get you four steps closer and can be frozen for extra convenience

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
662
protein
33g
carbs
120g
fat
9g
saturates
1g
fibre
10g
sugar
14g
salt
1.05g
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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g bag dried red lentils
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp each dried oregano and thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 500g spaghetti, plus Parmesan or vegetarian cheese, grated, to serve

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Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook gently for 15-20 mins until everything is softened. Stir in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs and stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 40-50 mins until the lentils are tender and saucy – splash in water if you need. Season.
  2. If eating straight away, keep on a low heat while you cook the spaghetti, following pack instructions. Drain well, divide between pasta bowls or plates, spoon sauce over the top and grate over some cheese. Alternatively, cool the sauce and chill for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Simply defrost portions overnight at room temperature, then reheat gently to serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2011

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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Bookcase101's picture
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This went down well in my home. We had it over penne instead of spaghetti. I'm puzzled at some of the other comments saying it was bland, I didn't feel it was bland and it definitely doesn't need Worcestershire sauce! If you follow the quality of lentils then you will have a lots of leftovers. We had it on wraps for lunch the following day and froze some. Fantastic, more veggie recipes please

fairystoryteller's picture
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Having read all the comments I knew to expect a large quantity but that suited my plan because I wanted to freeze portions for easy suppers. I followed the recipe but as others suggested, I added some smoked paprika at the same time as the herbs and then a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to lift the flavours. It got a thumbs up from the family served with spaghetti and a salad on the side. Next time though I might try it over penne - not sure spaghetti was the right choice. But I will make this again and I recommend it as a base recipe to tweak to suit your family's preferences.

CarlaS26's picture
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This was lovely, really tasty and the texture worked really well. Only issue was the portion sizes, I read other comments before so didnt do the recommanded amount of lentils, but I wasnt sure really whether it would work. I used 100g of lentils and that was for 2 people i felt like it was plenty for 2 people. It took longer than expected for the lentils to cook, about an hour but maybe that was just a one off for us. Next time I will make more and freeze it.

lucyn04's picture
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Loved this, usually meat eaters but this was very tasty after a couple of additions from reading the comments. I just added a tsp smoked paprika and a chopped red chilli when cooking the onions at the beginning. Tasted better fresh than reheated so glad I only made half the quantities... Still made 4 large portions!

mbell25's picture
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Just made this recipe- smells great! I halved the ingredients as many suggested and also added some extras such as paprika, a little sugar and balsamic. It has still made lots but thats fine as i'll freeze it.

RussianFitz's picture
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Agree with others, less lentils needed and makes loads. This has quickly become a family favourite! It is super cheap to make and really very yummy! Ultimate comfort food...and this coming from a meat eater.

michelleharper's picture
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I've just made this and it is fab! I read the comments first and added a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika too. We're meat eaters usually but didn't find this bland at all. Agree as well that 30 minutes is long enough for the lentils.

saschlet's picture
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Took on board others' comments and 250g of lentils and 1 tin of tomatoes would feed 6 if not 8 with pasta! Added a tablespoon smoked paprika and 200ml red wine with 800ml stock. Good alternative to meaty bolognese! Enough for leftovers with baked potatoes and freezing for kids portions. Makes loads!

mywinechannel's picture

i love the recipe but i would not add celery because it hides the flavor of the lentils

Jennyahurst's picture

I used sun dried tomato paste to give a bit more flavour, but still it was better with a dollop of green pesto mixed in - but definitely makes loads. I agree with comments about needing extra liquid!

sarahalister's picture
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Lovely. Wasn't sure the texture worked with spaghetti that well, but actually the combination grew on me..... Often with spaghetti sauces they run through and pool in the bottom, but this coated the pasta nicely. Have enough for a good 6 to 8 portions so would half quantities next time.

Sairenity's picture

I made this with chicken stock (naughty I know but we're not vegetarian), added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a generous grating of nutmeg. Full of flavour and went down really well with the whole family including a fussy 4 year old.

fpinsent's picture
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Have cooked this a few times now. It makes loads - this recipe could easly serve 8-10 people rather than 6. Not being vegetarian I've found the way round the lack of flavour to be beef stock rather than vegetable. Even Hubby prefers it to meat bolognese so it's become a regular for us.

bonebabe's picture

Cooked this with extra garlic, leek and Worcester sauce in my pressure cooker in half quantities, it worked really well (10 mins full pressure, depressurise naturally). Added a handful of black olives before serving, nice. Would also be nice with a bit of cumin and minced jalapeños. Not the most delicious recipe in the world, but tasty enough, versatile and nutritious!

clgraham's picture

As per previous comments, makes loads and is very filling but a bit bland. I added 1 red chilli, chilli powder, paprika and worcester sauce but it's still missing something. Nice with spaghetti.

sarahjbayley's picture

Much nicer than some of the comments would lead you to believe. We enjoyed it as it was and it had loads of flavour, although I did cook out the tomato puree a little. Tasty, filling and cheap.

jesscalou's picture

Lovely flavour and healthy, but can be a little bit dry so add lots of liquid.

saffron9's picture

Added 1tsp of smoked paprika to the fried vegetables, very tasty and filling. I agree with other comments that 30 mins is probably long enough to cook the lentils if not it goes very mushy.

eleanorwalsh's picture

Added some chilli powder and paprika to give it some flavour as I only had dried mixed herbs available but this did not seem to matter! Think I might prefer it to 'the real deal' meaty style. Nice one!

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