Yotam Ottolenghi's Ultimate Traybake Ragù

The plant-based ragù to end all others: this recipe delivers an incredible punch of umami flavour that will satisfy vegans and meat-eaters alike. It also happens to be extremely easy to throw together, and can be served with pasta or used as the base for a lasagne or shepherd's pie.

From the book

Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by &
Ottolenghi FLAVOUR
A guide to unlocking the complex flavour in simple vegetables
With a focus on creative cooking processes and clever ingredient pairing
Including recipes for everything from midweek meals to weekend feasts

Introduction

Enough versions were made to sink a large ship in our mission to create the best meatless ragù (Ixta nearly lost her will to live, but that has happened once or twice before). There’s no denying the list of ingredients is long, but these are all there to give the ragù its fantastic umaminess. The method, however, could not be simpler. If you have a food processor, the first six ingredients can all be pulsed in it until finely chopped, saving you lots of time and effort.

The ragù will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for a month, ready to be spooned over anything from pasta to polenta (try it with the fresh corn polenta on p. 140 of Ottolenghi FLAVOUR, minus the peppers and egg), or used as the base for lasagne or shepherd’s pie. For the latter two, cook the ragù a bit less, as it will carry on cooking in the oven.


Thank you to Emily Moore and Josh Renaut, who tirelessly took home every single version of this ragù to give their thoughtful feedback as recent converts to veganism.

Serves 6-8
Easy
Cook time: 1 h 25 min

Ingredients

3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks (250g)
2 onions, peeled and chopped into large chunks (300g)
300g oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
60g dried porcini, roughly blitzed
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3–4 plum tomatoes, chopped into large chunks (350g)
120ml olive oil
70g white miso paste
40g rose harissa (adjust according to the brand you are using)
4 tbsp tomato paste
90ml soy sauce
2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
180g dried brown or green lentils
100g pearl barley
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
160g coconut cream
100ml red wine
salt and black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan.

2. Working in batches, put the first six ingredients into a food processor and pulse until everything is very finely chopped (or very finely chop everything by hand if you don’t have a food processor).

3. Put the chopped vegetables into a large, 36cm x 28cm non-stick high-sided baking tray with the oil, miso, harissa, tomato paste, soy sauce and cumin seeds and mix very well. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until browned around the edges and bubbling.

4. Reduce the heat to 180°C fan.

5. Add all the remaining ingredients to the tray, along with 150ml of water, ⅓ teaspoon of salt and a very generous grind of black pepper. Stir very well, scraping the crispy sides and bottom with a spatula. Cover tightly with foil and bake for another 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a final 5 minutes. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed a little before serving.

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