All-purpose veggie ragù


This healthy vegetarian ragù is packed full of vegetables and pulses. It’s hearty enough on it’s own or it can be used to make pasta sauce, pie or chilli – so very versatile.



  • 10g dried mixed wild or dried porcini mushrooms
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g button or chestnut mushrooms, quite finely chopped
  • 250ml red or white wine
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • Large pinch sugar
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 150g puy lentils, cooked according to the pack instructions
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained (I use dried and soak/batch cook/freeze them)
  • 100g young leaf spinach



  • Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour over enough freshly boiled water to cover. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, then drain.


  • Heat some oil in a large, deep frying pan, then add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic with some salt. Fry over a low-medium heat, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until the veg are soft but not coloured. Add the soaked mushrooms to the pan, along with the button/chestnut mushrooms, then turn up the heat to medium-high and stir-fry until soft.


  • Turn the heat to high, then pour in the wine. Bubble until almost all the liquid has evaporated, then add the chopped tomatoes with the sugar and bubble for a few minutes


  • Add the stock, cooked lentils and chickpeas, then bring back to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes more until it has wilted. Taste and season well, then serve with flatbreads or mash. Alternatively, try a variation, right.

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