Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Rach Eats Lunch: Veggie Penne Ragu

Easy vegetarian penne ragu pasta recipe

I am rubbish at mornings - honestly. I had a moment back at the end of last year where I'd pulled myself up by my socks (not a move I'd recommend, really - unless you fancy going to the physio afterwards) and got myself up early and moving quicker, all so my day didn't feel so ridiculously rushed. Basically, so I could fit more in... then, January happened. I struggled on week one, then I got poorly so I spent one week completely out of action. Now, I'm coasting along, doing whatever I like again. And admittedly, little ol' organised me is a bit freaked out at this, but my heart is actually saying, "Yeahhhh. This is what I need. And your stuff is still getting done." Plus, it's always a bit cold in the bathroom, first thing in the morning. I swear that's part of the reason why I creep back to bed for "another half an hour." So I can warm up. Cosy is good.

Truth is, I do need to get myself motivated again. And after nearly a week and a half of the easy stuff, it's time for me to officially throw on my apron and try again. So, without further ado, here's a beautiful, delicious penne ragu: it's vegetarian (yaaaay! plant based!), it takes two pans (boo), and it's tomatoey and eeeeasy to put together. If you have an hour on your hands and you don't mind waiting, you can leave the tomatoes to slow roast on their own. If not, a third of that time will also do. Come on, I'll put my apron on if you put yours on...

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Veggie Penne Ragu
Slow is the way to go.
  • 75g frozen vegetarian mince
  • 150g tinned chopped tomatoes, plus juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic and lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon each paprika, salt and pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 90g dried penne pasta
Start off by getting two saucepans out of the cupboard. In one, pop the tinned tomatoes, lemon juice, onion and alll the spices into the pan. Begin heating it up, stirring frequently until it comes to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and then... just leave it, for about an hour, with the saucepan lid half on, half off (although twenty minutes will also do if you're in a hurry!), stirring occasionally. It's going to change colour, which is completely what we want!At the end of the cooking time, boil up some water in another pan and drop in the penne pasta. Stir it up and wait until it's lovely, soft and huge.
Funnily enough, while you wait for the pasta to cook, you need to add the vegetarian mince to the tomato sauce and keep stirring it to avoid it sticking. It should take about fifteen minutes or so to get it fully up to temperature - piping hot, as always! Add a tiny bit of pasta water if it's thickening fast.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan containing the ragu sauce. Combine it gently, making sure the ragu mingles with the penne, then pour it into your bowl. Eat it immediately. Yum!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 1

And with that, you have pure comfort in a bowl. Everything tastes better out of a bowl, doesn't it? That's why you never see ice cream served on a plate... As always, give it a go and let me know how you get on. I think slow-roasted tomatoes may be my new favourite thing!

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