It may seem like totally the wrong season to be making a piping hot pot of ragù. But this vegan version is something I crave even on the hottest summer night! It’s so rich and comforting, and also a total crowd-pleaser!! In fact it’s perfect for entertaining, because you could totally make it the day before and it’s hella easy!
ingredients (makes 4 generous portions)
1 red onion
4 cloves garlic
generous glug of olive oil (like 3tbsp)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 punnets of chestnut mushrooms
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 vegetable stock cube
200 mls hot water
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a small glass of red wine
handful of fresh basil
nooch! (as much as you like!)
- finely chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms (including stalks). Add the oil to the pot over a medium heat and add the onions when the oil is hot. Cook for about 8mins until the onions are soft and have a slight char. Then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are properly cooked and have a nice dark colour.
- add some wine at this stage to remove the caramelisation from the bottom of the pan, you may have to scrape it with a wooden spoon but that’s okay! Add the tomatoes, water, stock cube, vinegar, paprika and bay leaf. Mix everything well and allow to simmer for 2 hours with a lid, stirring occasionally.
- if the sauce is too runny at this stage, remove the lid and cook until you’re happy with the consistency. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
- When I’m ready to add the sauce to the pasta (check this post!), I chuck in a handful of chopped fresh basil and about 2 tbsp nooch (but I also keep extra nooch for adding on top haha!).
Done! See, so easy! Only hard part is trying not to fall asleep while cutting 2 punnets of mushrooms haha. but with a good podcast and a cheeky glass of wine for yourself, it’s a nice evening activity if you’re prepping for guests coming round or prepping your weekly meals on a Sunday night!
Pasta is the natural accompaniment to this ragu, but Mr Rabcooks loves it with jasmine rice, and I had to agree with him haha. But there’s also crusty bread, mashed potato (think of it as a riff on the Scottish dish mince an’ tatties) etc!