Need A Hearty Yet Healthy Dinner Idea? Try This Vegan Ragù Recipe
When I was growing up, my auntie Sophie often made a big pan of tomatoey lentils when we went around. This version is a nod to a traditional Italian meat ragù, but I have added eggplant instead, served with soft polenta and wilted greens.
This ragù is great with soft polenta, pasta, or served simply with a hunk of bread. Remember: Just before serving, fish out those bay leaves!
Tomato, Lentil & Eggplant Ragù
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, minced
- 2 eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 7 fl. oz. red wine
- 2 (14-oz.) cans beluga lentils, drained and rinsed
- 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the onions, and soften over low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in another frying pan, heat the remaining oil, add the eggplant and a pinch of salt, then fry on high for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the eggplant cubes are golden. Set aside.
- By this point, the onions should be soft and tinged golden. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Fry for another 2 to 3 minutes, then tip in the wine.
- Bring to a boil, and boil until it has reduced by two-thirds in volume (this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes).
- Last, but not least, add the lentils, tomatoes, and the browned eggplant cubes. Season, and reduce the heat, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little, and the eggplant is buttery soft.
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