I really wanted soup. Something soft and mushy – I’d spent three hours in the dentist’s chair earlier that day and I really wasn’t up to chewing a lot – but I’d had soup earlier that day, and the night before, and the lunchtime before that (#soupaddict)… so decided on a vegan ragu.
Traditionally, ragu’s are meat based dishes, thick and with lots of herbs. I knew I could whip up a lentil version in a flash and it would be just as good – if not better – than it’s meaty counterpart.
I roasted my cherry tomatoes, to help them retain their stunning colour and shape (as well as packing a punch in the flavour dept.).
I used gluten free penne- but you could use any type of short pasta on hand.
- YIELD: 6 Servings
- PREP: 5 mins
- COOK: 45 mins
- READY IN: 50 mins
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Large Red Onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 cup Brown Lentils rinsed well
- 1 cup Roma Tomatoes diced well
- 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 4-6 cups Boiling Water as needed
- 1/2 cup Almond or Oat milk
- 250 g dried pasta penne or shells work best
- 1 Medium Zucchini sliced
- 1 cup Kale chopped
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1/2 cup roasted macadamias
- 1/2 cup Cashews
- 3/4 cup Savoury Yeast Flakes
- 3 tsp Murray River Sea Salt
- If you want to roast the tomatoes, preheat your oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray. Lay the sliced cherry tomatoes evenly, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 25 minutes, or until just blistered. You could also add the tomatoes directly to the dish during cooking - but they'll lose their beautiful shape and colour.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and add the carrots. Combine and cook for a further ten minutes, allowing the carrots to soften slightly.
- Add the rinsed and drained lentils, roma tomatoes, dried basil, thyme and chilli, and stir well. Pour enough boiling water to cover everything, and then turn the heat up to bring to a gentle boil.
- Leave the lid on the pot, and stir regularly, making sure the water doesn't get too low, or the lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the lentils are soft - about 35 minutes - add the almond or oat milk, zucchini, pasta, and salt and extra boiling water as needed. The pasta must be evenly covered. Pop the lid back on and cook for a further 10 -15 minutes, or until pasta is al'dente.
- Add the kale and check for seasonings. Stir and take off the heat and set aside while you make the parmesan.
- In your blender, pulse the macadamias and cashews, then combine with the savoury yeast flakes and salt. Store in a glass jar in your fridge for up to a week.
- Sprinkle on top of the pasta, top with the tomatoes, and serve immediately.