This recipe is an absolute classic! It has been adapted from a lentil ragu recipe I found on the BBC Good Food website so I can’t take any credit for it. The adaptions make it a little more MS friendly. When I first started following the Mediterranean diet, I ate no red meat at all and I really missed meals like bolognese. Nearly 4 years later, I have continued to use lentils as my protein substitute but…full disclosure…I use a beef stock cube rather than vegetable stock, which is often used in lentil ragu recipes. This is one of the very few times I use a red meat product in my cooking. Once in a while is fine, its all about moderation. I feel justified using beef stock here as it makes the lentils so tasty and it stops this recipe being too similar to other lentil recipes I make (which all use vegetable stock).
The other thing I love about this recipe is you can customise it to suit your needs or your tastes. If you like mushrooms or peppers in your bolognese, add them in with the other vegetables at the beginning. If you like your sauce spicy, then pop some paprika in!
Now I know that being gluten free is not part of the Mediterranean diet, that is my choice, but for those of you out there who are gluten free, Sainsbury’s pasta is the best! I have tried a few supermarket brands and Sainsbury’s is by far the yummiest, it tastes just like regular pasta! They do lots of different shapes/styles too which is nice, so you could opt for spaghetti if you wanted!
Original recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/lentil-ragu
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic paste (or fresh garlic if you prefer)
400g can of chopped tomatoes
200g green lentils, washed
500ml beef stock
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons thyme
2 bay leaves
Gluten free pasta to serve (I cook 72g per person but it depends how hungry you are!)
- Put chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic paste into a pan and heat with olive oil for 4 minutes on a low heat.
2. Add 1 teaspoon thyme and 1 teaspoon oregano and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, green lentils, beef stock and stir well.
4. Add rest of the herbs and the bay leaves and cover. Bring to the boil.
5. Once boiling, turn heat down and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir at regular intervals, making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan near the end. Remember to remove bay leaves before eating!
6. If serving immediately, cook gluten free pasta when there is 10 minutes of cooking time left.
That’s it! It’s so simple and tasty and easy to make. The mixture may need a splash more water adding to the pan, if you feel like the mixture is getting dry with some cooking time still left.
I always make a big batch of this sauce and freeze it in individual portions. Once defrosted, it only takes 5 minutes to heat through while I have pasta cooking.
Disclaimer: This is not my original recipe. I have disclosed the recipe source and take no credit in its invention. I have merely adapted some bits that I have learnt while trying out this recipe or altered things to fit in with the suggested diet for MS sufferers. No copyright infringements intended. Thank you.