Ragu sauce (v) (serves 6, preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 2 hours plus)
This is a great general Italian sauce that can be use with meatballs, plain with pasta or as a base for lasagne.
3 tablespoons of olive oil;
2 onions, finely chopped;
2 large carrots, finely chopped;
4 celery stalks,finely chopped;
2 dried red chillies (optional)
2 large tomatoes chopped finely;
1 carton of pasata;
3 x 390g carton of chopped tomatoes;
2 small handfuls of brown lentils;
Large handful each of basil, thyme, marjoram and parsley, finely chopped;
Here’s what you do:
Step 1 - Put the oil over a low to medium heat in alarge pot.
Step 2 - When the oil is hot add the onions and cook until softened, but not brown.
Step 3 - Add the carrot, celery and tomatoes and sweat down for about 10 minutes.
Step 4 - Add the chillies (if using), pasata, chopped tomatoes, lentils, herbs and seasoning.
Step 5 - Simmer the sauce for at least 2 hours, longer if possible. Keep an eye on the sauce and add a little water from time to time while stirring.
That gives you the basic recipe, but here are some extra tips should you need them:
Option 1 - If you want to spice this up a bit, you can add some more paprika.
Option 2 - If you prefer a less chunky soup, you can liquidize half or all of the soup to reach your desired texture. I like to do this anyway as you then taste all of the flavours with every mouthful.
Kitchen implements required: