I know, I know, a ragu is typically a meat dish. But sometimes it’s nice to ditch the meat and go for a full vegetarian option instead. Why? Well in the UK at least, it is a cheaper option, plus it is a sure-fire way of making sure you are getting your 5 vegetables a day. Or even more than that.
This recipe might not be one to serve to your toddlers or young children, or those amongst us who are vegetables averse, but for everyone else the recipe is a real winner.
Like any good Italian dish, it is hearty and filling, but the sheer amount of vegetables stops it being heavy on your stomach. And while I know this is going to sound super cheesy, you’ll finish it feeling as healthy as the meal actually is.
Don’t worry it’s not all health and goodness though. There is a more than appetising dose of feta and mozzarella. Because let’s face it cheese is probably one of man’s greatest creations, and anyway we need some kind of protein in, there right?
The vegetables you choose to use may vary, and so can the amounts. Just simply look at the amount you are about to cook and ask, is this enough to feed ‘x’ amount of people. This recipe feeds four.
2 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
1 broccoli head
1 pepper – any colour – sliced and halved
12 chestnut mushrooms
1/3 of a block of Feta Cheese
500g of tomato passata
1 cup of water
2 tbsps of basil, rosemary, oregano,
½ tsp of Paprika
½ cup of grated mozzarella
Salt and pepper
Olive oil to cook
Begin by thinly slicing the onion and garlic. Halve and slice the courgette doing the same with the pepper. Roughly slice the mushrooms and the broccoli.
Place a large frying pan on medium and high heat and pour in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the red onion and sprinkle some salt on top to allow the onion to sauté and soften rather than fry. After a minute add the garlic.
Next to add is the broccoli as this will take the most time to cook. Fry lightly before adding in the courgette followed shortly by the pepper. Allow the food to sweat for three minutes before adding the mushrooms.
Stir initially and then allow to sweat for another five minutes.
Pour in the tomato passata and water. Add in the herbs and spices and stir together fully. Simmer on a medium heat for five minutes and then crumble the feta in.
At this point in the cooking process you should preheat the grill oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Leave the ragu to simmer on the stove for 10 minutes.
Finally sprinkle the mozzarella over the top of the ragu and remove from heat. Place the whole frying pan under the grill for five minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
Carefully remove from the grill and serve immediately. Best served with warmed bread.