Chapter 4 Pasta

4.1 Lentil Ragu

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • celery finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g bag dried red lentils
  • 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano and thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 250g spaghetti, plus Parmesan or vegetarian cheese, grated, to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook gently for 15-20 mins until everything is softened. Stir in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs and stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 40-50 mins until the lentils are tender and saucy – splash in water if you need. Season. Serve with spaghetti or linguine and cheese.

4.2 Butternut squash pasta

  • 30g butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion / shallot
  • 450g butternut squash
  • 1 sprig chopped rosemary
  • Zest 1/2 lemon
  • Grated nutmeg
  • 180g pasta
  • Grated parmesan

Melt butter, fry onion and garlic Add squash, rosemary, lemon, nutmeg. Sweat over a gentle heat 15 min. Squash 1/3 into a sauce and mix with the pasta

4.3 Courgette Lemon Pasta

  • 200g penne
  • 400g cougettes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 tbsp double cream
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • fresh parsley

Cook pasta. Top, tail and grate courgettes. Butter in large pan and stir fry courgettes and garlic for 2 min. Drain pasta (save a bit of water) return to pan. Pour over cream, lemon, add courgettes and mix.

4.4 Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Lasagna

Delia Smith

  • 9 sheets spinach lasagne (the kind that needs no pre-cooking)
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 heaped tablespoon capers
  • 75 g mozzarella, grated
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 450 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow pepper, de-seeded and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) squares
  • 1 large onion, sliced and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) squares
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Fresh basil, leaves torn so that they stay quite visible
  • 50g pitted black olives, chopped

For the sauce: * 35g plain flour * 40g butter * 570 ml milk * 1 bay leaf * Grating of fresh nutmeg * 3 tablespoons fr eshly grated Parmesan

Pre-heat the oven to 240°C.

Chop the aubergine and courgettes. Place tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, peppers and onion on roasting tray. Sprinkle with the garlic, basil, olive oil and salt. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are toasted brown at the edges. Menawhile, make the sauce by placing all the ingredients (except the cheese) in a small saucepan and whisking continuously over a medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Then turn the heat down to its lowest and let the sauce cook for 2 minutes. Now add the grated Parmesan. When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and stir in the chopped olives and the capers.

Turn the oven down to 180°C.

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Bake for 25-30 min.

4.5 Vegetarian Lentil Lasagne

The Hairy Bikers

Serves 4

For the lentil ragù

  • 200g Puy lentils
  • Stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Celery
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 110g/4oz mushrooms, finely diced
  • 110g/4oz leek, finely sliced
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 6-9 sheets lasagne
  • handful grated Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)

Cheese sauce

  • 110g butter
  • 85gplain flour (sifted
  • 850ml pints milk


Possibly to much milk in white sauce? Makes three layer RP|RPS|RPS|C

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. For the lentil ragù, cover the lentils with cold water and bring to the boil. Crumble in the vegetable stock cube and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, then drain. Add a little more water if the mixture looks dry. Fry onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms and leek etc. for about five minutes, or until softened. Stir in the cooked lentils and simmer gently for five minutes, then stir in the tomatoes. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes. Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile, for the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat then mix in the flour and stir until bubbling. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Simmer gently, stirring constantly, until the sauce starts to thicken and remove from heat. Assemble the lasagne. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbling and golden-brown.

4.6 Leek and Parmesan Risotto

  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 leeks chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 150g arborio rice
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 750 veg stock

Bring stock to simmer. Heat pan with butter and oil, cook veg for 5min. Add rice, stir to coat. Add wine and bubble until reduced. Add stock a little at a time until rice is tender and ooooozy. Serve with parmesan.