Cook along with cookbook author Claire Tansey as she makes a flavourful Mushroom and Lentil Ragu using canned lentils. There’s no meat, butter, milk or cheese here, but with a rich sauce flavoured by wine and by fresh and dried mushrooms, this dish has a similar vibe. Serve it over pasta or creamy polenta.
Mushroom and Lentil Ragu
- 14 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 500 g white mushrooms (about 20)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz can whole tomatoes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 5 1/2 oz can tomato paste
- 19 oz can lentils, drained
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- Pangritata (optional)
- Place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour 1 cup (250 mL) of boiling water over them. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes. Fish out the mushrooms and save the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms finely. Reserve.
- Heat the canola oil in a large, wide pot over medium low. Add the onions, celery and salt; cook, stirring often, until the onions are nearly translucent and a bit golden, about 10 minutes. While that’s cooking, grate the white mushrooms on the large holes of a box grater (if you’re left with any big chunks just give them a quick chop). Add the white mushrooms and garlic to the onion mixture. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms release their moisture and the mixture becomes mostly dry, about 10 minutes.
- Add the mushroom soaking liquid to the pot, keeping back any sediment left in the bottom of the bowl. Crush the tomatoes, with scissors or your hands, and then add them and their juices to the pot along with the wine, tomato paste, lentils, rosemary and reserved chopped rehydrated mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer vigorously, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
- If you like, purée about half of the mixture (either purée partly with an immersion blender, or take some out, purée in a blender and add it back to the pot). Stir in the canola oil. Serve over pasta or polenta and sprinkle with pangritata.