This recipe (another found on the BBC Good Food website – link at the bottom), says it serves six, but it doesn’t. Unless you are feeding a rugby team, I highly recommend at minimum halving the recipe if you are intending to cook it for just the one meal. I admit I had some concerns when pouring in the entire 500g bag of lentils that it looked a little much, but I’ve never cooked lentils before (other than in soup to add texture), so I didn’t really comprehend what I was doing. Seriously, this made so much ragu we ate it for three days. It was only when looking up the link for the recipe that I realised you can freeze the leftovers. What a novice.
The recipe is marked on the website as ‘easy’, but to me easy doesn’t require near constant stirring to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot. And I mean every couple of minutes, and they still stuck. My arm hasn’t quite been the same since. I tried roping in the five year old to stir for me, but he couldn’t quite get the hang of getting the spoon right to the bottom of the pot and ended up flinging mushy lentils halfway up my kitchen wall. I was not amused. The recipe recommends to ‘splash in water’ if it looks like its drying out whilst cooking; I found that ‘splash’ equated to ‘approximately a litre’.
We had the ragu with wholemeal spaghetti, the last of our very much not vegetarian parmesan, and a little bit of parsley to serve. It was tasty, but a little on the dry side. It was much nicer the next day reheated and served with fresh tagliatelle and a splash of olive oil. And here by splash, I actually mean splash.
The ingredients came in under £5 as I already had the herbs, stock and spaghetti, and it was a proper hearty meal that everyone enjoyed. However, it’s very definitely a winter dish, and as we are heading into whats shaping up to be a halfway decent summer I likely won’t make it again for a while. Just as well, I’m all lentiled out.
The recipe can be found on the BBC Good Food website here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1139652/lentil-rag