Summer has not yet commit itself to sticking around. Some evenings still cry out for heartwarming comfort food. This Ragu with Mince and Lentils really hits the spot.
Who would think that such unpretentious ingredients could taste so incredibly soothing. It really is all in the seasoning. Believe me: keep tasting this dish and add little more of this and a little more of that, until you have difficulty putting down the spoon. And do not worry if the first few spoonful taste disappointing – it really is all in the seasoning!
(based on Nigella Lawson’s ‘Ragu’ recipe from ‘Nigella Express’)
2 tbsp (garlic) oil
125g pancetta (or a thick bacon rasher) (or NL: spekblokjes)
500g minced lamb (or beef)
3 red onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar
80ml Marsala (or more to taste)
1 400g can of tomatoes
125g green lentils
½ cube of vegetable stock
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp of ketchup
big splash of balsamic vinegar
50-100 g grated tasty cheese (old Gouda, red Leicester)
- Fry pancetta until crispy. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen towel.
- Wipe pan . Chop onion, add to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook until soft. Remove onion from the pan, add it to the pancetta and set aside.
- Add oil to the frying pan. Add meat and fry until lightly browned.
- Add onion and pancetta mix. Add garlic, brown sugar.
- Add marsala, tomato, lentils, water, stock cube and bring to the boil. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are done, stirring once in a while.
- Season with honey, ketchup, balsamic, salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the dish and serve.
- Pita Breads
- Hummus mixed with yoghurt, ground cumin, lemon juice, lemon rind, salt pepper. Decorate with a little olive oil and pomegranate seeds
- Salad of green beans