This dish is hearty, warming, really rich, and just a dream dinner. The leftovers work brilliantly too. You can make a double portion and have the second serving with baked potatoes later in the week, or take it to work with some quinoa or salad for an on-the-go option.
Mushroom and Walnut Ragu [Vegan]
- 3/4 oz dried porcini
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced olive oil
- 14 oz cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 x 14oz can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 4 portions of pasta (about 3 oz per person)
- salt and pepper
- handful of chopped parsley, to serve
- Start by soaking the dried porcini. Put them into a bowl with 1 cup boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes. Once soaked, drain well (but keep the liquid), then cut into small pieces.
- While the porcini are soaking, chop the walnuts into tiny pieces about the size of large breadcrumbs. Place them in a large, deep skillet over medium heat and toast for about 5 minutes, until golden, stirring every now and again. Once toasted, remove from the heat and spoon into a bowl. Place the skillet back on the heat
- Add the onion, garlic, and celery to the skillet, along with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the mushrooms and red bell pepper, along with the thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, tamari, and porcini with their soaking water. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (you want the ragu to be thick and have lost the excess liquid). Stir in the walnuts and nutritional yeast, and let cook in the sauce for a final 5 minutes.
- While the ragu is simmering, cook your pasta following the package directions. Drain well, then stir into the ragu once both are ready.
- Scatter with chopped parsley to serve.