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Lentil Ragu

Lentil Ragu

Lentil Ragu with 30-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano PDO

“Rich lentil ragu is the perfect substitute to the traditional minced meat Bolognese. Simple to prepare with store cupboard ingredients, it makes a speedy nutritious meal at any time. For best results, use the small brown or green lentils that are widely available and do not require pre-soaking. Please note, I have put an approximate amount of stock and also the cooking time may vary depending on the brand of lentils you use. I like to add the rind of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO which adds extra flavour to the ragu and as it cooks it softens and is perfectly edible. Never throw Parmigiano Reggiano PDO rinds away, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge and pop them into ragus, soups and stews.”

 Serves: 4 people Serves: 4 people

30-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano PDO 30-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano PDO


3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
40g pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 medium-sized carrot, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
40ml red wine
200g small brown or green dried lentils
1tbsp tomato purée
Approximately 900ml hot vegetable stock
Whole or chopped pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO rind
400g tagliatelle
Salt to taste
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano PDO , to serve 


  1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large, deep frying pan, over a medium heat, add the pancetta and stir fry for a minute, add the vegetables and bay leaves and sweat for about 4 minutes until softened. Increase the heat, add the wine and allow to evaporate. Stir in the lentils. Dilute the tomato purée with some of the vegetable stock and stir in.  
  2. Add enough stock to cover the lentils, add the Parmigiano Reggiano PDO rind, partially cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked (check cooking time on your packet). Check from time to time and add more hot stock if necessary. Depending on the lentils, you may need more or less cooking time and more or less stock.  
  3. Near the end of cooking time, place a large pot of salted water on the heat, bring to the boil and cook the tagliatelle until ‘al dente’. Drain the pasta and mix well with the lentil ragu over a medium to high heat, adding a little of pasta water if necessary.  Remove from the heat and serve immediately with a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano PDO.    
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