Lentils ragou [VEGAN]
I know, I know ... it is forbidden to associate the words "ragou" and "vegan", as the tradition purists would turn up their noses and be horrified because of this blasphemous association. I risked losing more than one friend by daring to transgress the traditional nomenclature of this very Italian dish. Anyway, I hope you'd pass me the fact that talking about lentil ragou is much easier and faster than saying "Tomato-and-lentils-based-sauce-to-dress-the-pasta", right?
Well, that being said...
Is there perhaps something more emblematic of the Italian cuisine than a nice plate of Lasagna stuffed with ragou and béchamel sauce? I do not think so. I developed this recipe of my own ragou made with lentils, and I assure you that not only it is so dang good, but the most skeptical of vegetarian and vegan cuisine skeptics will love it too. Matt is also very fond of it, and yet he is a true admirer of ragou, so... that's saying something ;)
Preparing this wonderful lentil ragou is very simple, and it basically does not differ much from the steps of a traditional one: just one saucepan is required, so... you won't have many dishes to clean up, and the cooking time depends on the lentils you will use.
For a creamier sauce, use 2/3 of classic brown lentils + 1/3 of red lentils: these will fall apart during cooking, and so they guarantee a wonderful creamy consistency of your ragou sauce;
If the ragou sauce is still a little liquid in the end, blend 1/3 of the lentils. On the contrary, add half a glass of water should it have dried too much during the cooking;
You can double the doses and freeze the ragou sauce in glass jars once cooled. When needed, just take it out of the freezer the evening before to have it ready to use the next day;
To make the sauce even tastier, add 3-4 dried tomatoes cut into small pieces towards the end of cooking time.
14 oz (400 g) classic brown lentils, or 2/3 classic + ⅓ red lentils;
1 medium carrot;
Half stalk of celery;
⅓ golden onion (or half of it, if you like it);
⅓ cup (100 ml) red wine;
3 cups (700 ml) tomato sauce;
1 + ½ cup (300 ml) water or stock;
1 spring of rosemary and 3 sage leaves;
0,5 tsp salt.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the chopped onion, carrot and celery and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes over low heat until the onion is translucent and soft;
Stir in the lentils, rosemary and sage for a couple of minutes;
Blend with wine and let it evaporate completely;
Pour in the water (or vegetable stock), tomato sauce, salt, stir and bring to simmer. Cover with a lid;
Cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally;
After this time, check the salt: add if needed. Then taste the lentils: if they're a little bit hard, cook for other 10 minutes, otherwise the ragou sauce is ready. Enjoy it over pasta, I recommend spaghetti, but it's up to you :)
How to store ragou sauce
This sauce can be store in an airtight container up to 4 days in the fridge. It also freeze wel.
Should you try this at home, do not forget to tag the Instagram page and use the hashtag #twocabbageskitchen. We'll looooove to see your creations :)
Love & Enjoy.
Cristiana & the Cabbages