How to make puy lentil ragu

Puy lentil ragu with homemade tagliatelle

Serves 4

Everyone and their granny has their own definitive answer to the vegan ragu recipe question. And while I do waiver between red and green lentils, the green win out because they can stand up to more vigorous simmering without dissolving into mush. Perhaps the most satisfying ribbons of loveliness I have ever created, the homemade tagliatelle are worth every second of rolling and re-rolling.

1tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaped tbsp dried oregano
150g puy lentils, rinsed and drained
100ml vegan red wine
1 heaped tbsp tomato puree
400g can chopped tomatoes
150ml passata (sieved tomatoes)

1tbsp balsamic vinegar
½tbsp yeast extract spread
½tbsp brown or palm sugar
400ml water
1 bay leaf
Sea salt flakes and black pepper

Pasta

400g ‘00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
1tsp sea salt flakes
250ml water
1tbsp olive oil

For the pasta, place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Whisk the water and oil together and gradually add to the flour, pulsing continuously, until the mixture forms a rough dough ball. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead for 1 minute, then wrap in cling film, transfer to the refrigerator and leave to rest for 1-2 hours.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, season, cover and sweat for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until softened.

Add the garlic, oregano and puy lentils to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until the aromas begin to exude. Pour in the red wine, increase the heat to high and cook until the wine has evaporated.

This recipe came from Aine Carlin’s book, ‘Cook Share Eat Vegan’

Stir in the tomato puree, then add the canned tomatoes, passata, balsamic vinegar, yeast extract spread, sugar and measured water. Season generously, add the bay leaf and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring frequently, until the lentils are cooked and the sauce is thick and glossy.

Roll the pasta dough out on a lightly floured work surface until it is almost transparent, turning it frequently so it doesn’t stick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into tagliatelle-sized strips (alternatively, use a pasta maker if you have one.) Dust the ribbons with flour to prevent sticking.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Drain and divide between warmed bowls, top with the ragu and serve.

Recipe from ‘Cook Share Eat Vegan’ by Aine Carlin. Published by Mitchell Beazley, £20

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