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4.85 from 19 votes

Easy Lentil Ragu

Spaghetti with lentil sauce, sometimes called lentil bolognese or lentil ragu, is a hearty, traditional dish from Italy. Nutritious and packed with protein, it is great for vegetarians, vegans and anyone who loves Italian food.
Servings: 4 generous portions of ragu
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 batch soffritto paste - If you need to make this from scratch, you need an onion, a carrot, two sticks of celery and two cloves of garlic.
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 125 g puy lentils
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar - or red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp chilli flake - optional

Instructions

To make soffrito (if needed)

  • Peel and finely chop an onion, large carrot, two celery sticks and two cloves of garlic. Fry in a good glug of olive oil over a low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are golden and fragrant.

To make the lentil sauce (lentil ragu/bolognese)

  • Put the olive oil, soffritto paste and oregano in a frying pan and gently fry for one minute.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir through and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and reduce the heat to its lowest setting and leave to cook for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time and adding some more water if needed.

Notes

  • Make a big batch of soffritto paste in advance, blitz it down, or leave chunky and freeze.   
  • If you don't fancy all the chopping, then you can buy bags of prepared vegetables, or pouches of ready made soffritto.  
  • You can use prepared lentils too. Buy pouches ready cooked  in order to reduce cooking time. If you do this, you only need a splash of water.  
  • Buy good quality canned tomatoes, as it really makes a difference!  
  • Always add a splash of pasta cooking water to the sauce before serving. 
  • A knob of butter, or extra olive oil makes this creamy and intensifies the flavour.
  • For a special meal serve with homemade fresh pasta
Nutritional Information: 
  • This recipe is Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion 
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.