Need A Hearty Yet Healthy Dinner Idea? Try This Vegan Ragù Recipe

Contributing writer By Lola Milne
Contributing writer
Lola Milne is a recipe developer, food stylist, and cookbook author. After studying Fine Art Photography at the Glasgow School of Art, she worked with Jamie Oliver and his food team focusing on food photography and styling.
Tomato, Lentil, and Eggplant Ragu

Image by Lizzie Mayson / Contributor

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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

Serves 6

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Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bring to a boil, and boil until it has reduced by two-thirds in volume (this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes).
  5. 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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