250g dried lentils or use 500g cooked lentils (roughly 2 x 400g tins drained)
600ml water (*omit this if using cooked lentils)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 gloves garlic peeled,finely chopped or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced or 2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
1 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
50g walnuts chopped
80g pitted olives
2 heaped tbsp. tomato puree
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 heaped tsp. Italian style herb blend or mixed herbs
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed chilli flakes
4-5 medium courgettes
Soak the lentils in water for 30 minutes, drain, rinse and place in a saucepan with the water, bring the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until soft.
Whilst the lentils are cooking heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onion, red pepper, salt, pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the vegetables soften.
Add the tomatoes, walnuts, olives, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, herbs, mushrooms and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine, add the lentils once cooked, stir through and cook for a further 10-15 minutes (cook for longer if you have time to enhance the flavours), stirring occasionally and more water if needed.
Just before serving begin to prepare your courgetti, warm a little olive oil in a non stick frying pan, julienne the courgette into the pan, add the garlic and chilli flakes and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Whilst the courgetti is cooking, stir the spinach into the ragu and allow to wilt down for 2-3 minutes.