I am in mass production mode this time of year, making enough stews, sauces and meatballs to fill my freezer and last me well into spring. One of my favourite things to make in big batches is a chunky ragu that I can quickly thaw and enjoy on zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or just on its own like a stew.
I am going to be honest, my chunky lamb ragu will forever be the best ragu on earth, but if you are looking for a vegetarian option, this lentil ragu is delicious. The lentils add heartiness to the sauce that is very similar to meat and will satisfy any carnivore.
When comparing lentil ragu with a meat based sauce, the vegetarian option definitely has an edge in the health stakes. Lentils are very rich in fibre, which helps aid digestion, reduces the risk of heart disease and stabilizes blood sugar. Lentils also have a high amount of protein (the third highest of all legumes and nuts) and are incredibly low in fat with less then 1gram per cup.
The key to perfecting this ragu is time and patience. The longer you leave it to simmer, the more tender the lentils become and the more flavour the sauce will develop.
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
- 1 cup dried green lentils soaked in water overnight
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery finely chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cans chopped tomato 14oz each
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add in the chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic and sauté for approximately 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the cans of tomato, vegetable broth, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes and lentils and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and leave to simmer for 1 hour.
After 1 hour remove the lid and continue to cook for approximately 45 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half and the lentils have become very tender.
Serve the sauce on its own or on top of pasta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. This sauce freezes very well.