Tomato & Mushroom Ragù

Tomato & Mushroom Ragù

This so-simple recipe will soon become a trusty ‘go-to’ in your culinary repertoire. It can turn its hand to a variety of dishes: a simple sauce for pasta, polenta, beans, pulses, or a medley of fresh, seasonal vegetables; a topping for pizza; or a delicious support for seafood, grilled, or roasted meats. Make the basic ragù in bulk and freeze in portions that suit you – I promise you’ll never want to buy a processed tomato-based sauce again. Ever.

In season, I use fresh, peeled tomatoes (just cut a cross in the bottom, dunk them in boiling water for a minute or two and the skin will peel easily). Otherwise, I use good quality organic chopped tinned tomatoes – either way, since we’re not in sun-blessed Italy or Sicily, a little cinnamon or dark brown sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes.

When the sauce is almost cooked (or on reheating it if frozen) you can get creative by adding a handful of any variety of sliced or chopped mushrooms and/or finely sliced red peppers (just sauté them first in a little olive oil or butter until soft) and/or stoned black olives per person and ramp up the volume Sicilian-style with freshly-grated ginger and/or finely-diced chilli.

The tomato ragù will keep well in the fridge for several days and (without the mushrooms/red peppers) it will freeze perfectly – just add in the vegetables and a little extra water and seasonings when reheating.

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Tomato & Mushroom Ragù
Course Sauce
Servings
Ingredients
Course Sauce
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Blitz or very finely chop the celery, carrots and onions. In a large saucepan, sauté them very gently in the oil, until well-softened and very lightly coloured. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, tomato purée, cinnamon/brown sugar, water, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Mix well, cover with a lid and allow to simmer on a low heat for approximately 30 mins for fresh tomatoes or 1 hour if using tinned; stir frequently and lower the heat if the sauce is reducing too quickly, adding water as necessary to retain a thick (but not solid) consistency. Adjust the seasonings to taste as the sauce cooks.
  3. Leave the sauce chunky or take out the bay leaf and oregano stalks and blend it to your preferred consistency. Add the torn basil just before serving.
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Izabella Natrins

After 30 years in the health space, I'm here to share and use my expertise and experience to help women to create the true health they deserve. My Femergy@40 Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching and Resilient Weight-Loss programmes empower, support and inspire women who are fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues, to find hope and optimism, regain confidence and create much better health. My book 'The Real Food Solution' 2020 (updated from Once Upon a Cook 2019) is an evidence-based treasury of real food wisdom and a call to action to change the way you eat, create more energy, vitality and better health and support a sustainable planet ... with traditional foods. I'm a qualified real food nutrition and lifestyle health expert, holistic health coach, nutritional chef and a writer, a speaker and a partner, mum & grand-mum.

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