The Ultimate Roasting-Pan Ragu



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The Ultimate Roasting-Pan Ragu

Photographs copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Lovekin

In our mission to create the best meatless ragù, enough versions were made to sink a large ship (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 here 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. 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. —Excerpted from 'Flavor,' by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage


  • 2 carrots , peeled and chopped into large chunks (7oz/200g)
  • 1 onion , peeled and chopped into large chunks(8 1/2oz/240g)
  • 8 1/2oz/240g oyster mushrooms , roughly chopped
  • 1 3/4oz/50g dried porcini mushrooms , roughly blitzed
  • 3 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes , chopped into large chunks (9 3/4 oz/280g)
  • 6 tbsp/90ml olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white or other miso paste
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 tbsp/75ml soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds , crushed
  • 3/4 cup/145g dried brown or green lentils
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp/80g pearl barley
  • 3 1/4 cups/770ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 7 tbsp/130g coconut cream , (not coconut milk!)
  • 1/3 cup/80ml red wine
  • 1/2 cup/120ml water
  • table salt and black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/190°C fan.
  • Working in batches, put the carrots, onion, oyster mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, garlic, and tomatoes 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).
  • Put the chopped vegetables into a 9 x 13-inch/23 x 33cm nonstick roasting pan with at least 2½-inch/6cm sides and add the olive oil, miso paste, harissa, tomato paste, soy sauce, and cumin seeds and mix very well. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until browned in places and around the edges.
  • Decrease the oven temperature to 375°F/180°C fan.
  • Add the lentils, barley, stock, coconut cream, wine, water, ¼ tsp salt, and a very generous grind of pepper to the roasting pan. Stir very well, scraping the crispy sides and bottom with a spatula. Cover tightly with aluminum 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.

Recipe Tip:

This roasting-pan ragu will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 1 month, ready to be spooned over anything from pasta to polenta (try it with the fresh corn polenta on page 140, 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.

Check out another recipe from Ottolenghi’s New Cookbook, Flavor: Super-Soft Zucchini with Rose Harissa and Lemon.

Excerpted from Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Text copyright © 2020 Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Lovekin, except page 211 @ Louise Hagger. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Nishant Choksi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.