A white oval platter topped with a mushroom ragu and pasta

Vegan mushroom ragu

  • serves 6-8
  • Easy

Earthy chestnut mushrooms, red lentils and walnuts come together to create this hearty vegan ragu, packed with umami flavours and 'meaty' textures. You may make more ragu than you need but it freezes well – freeze any leftovers in portions

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Try this vegan mushroom ragu, then check out our vegan bolognese, vegan mushroom risotto, vegan cacio e pepe and more vegan meal ideas.

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Ingredients

  • walnuts 100g
  • chestnut mushrooms 500g
  • olive oil 4 tbsp, plus a drizzle
  • onion 1 large, finely chopped
  • carrots 2, finely chopped
  • celery 2 stalks, finely chopped
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • tomato purée 3 tbsp
  • vegan red wine 200ml
  • rosemary 1 sprig
  • basil ½ a small bunch, leaves picked, finely chopped
  • chopped tomatoes 400g tin
  • vegetable stock 600ml
  • red lentils 250g, rinsed
  • bay leaves 2
  • balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp
  • wide pasta (such as mafalde, pappardelle or paccheri) 600g
  • sage ½ a small bunch, leaves picked
  • capers 1 tbsp, drained
  • vegan hard cheese shaved, to serve (optional)

Method

  • Step 1

    Tip the walnuts into a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Transfer to a bowl, then do the same with the mushrooms.

  • Step 2

    Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Add the mushrooms and most of the walnuts, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened, all the water has evaporated and they have reduced by half. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for another 5 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Add the wine and bubble for a minute, then add the rosemary, basil, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer. Add the lentils and bay. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, then simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes until thickened. Stir in the balsamic, and season. Top up with a little water during cooking if the ragu seems too thick. Taste, then remove the herbs and add more balsamic, to taste, if you like.

  • Step 4

    Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 100ml of the water. Heat a drizzle of oil in a small frying pan and fry the sage and capers for 1 minute until crisp. Toss the pasta in the ragu, adding a splash of the cooking water, depending on how saucy you like it. Scatter with the crispy sage, capers and reserved walnuts, and vegan cheese, if you like.

Try more easy vegan meal ideas

Vegan mushroom risotto

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 540
  • Fat 17.2g
  • Saturates 2.4g
  • Carbs 65.7g
  • Sugars 7.8g
  • Fibre 8.5g
  • Protein 21.7g
  • Salt 0.3g
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