This is a real Grumpy Panda favorite, a big bowl of fresh pasta in a rich 'meaty' sauce perfect for those slow days and lazy evenings. All that's required is a little time, patience and the best quality ingredients you can get your hands on. It big on umami, that 'meaty' flavor us veggies long for.
- 1 medium white onion sliced
- 400g brown mushrooms roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 2 garlic cloves diced
- 500g beef or large vine tomatoes
- soy sauce
- fresh thyme
- vegetarian worcestershire sauce
- tomato puree
Start by quartering your tomatoes, put them in an oven proof dish and add a little olive oil along with plenty of salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Put your tomatoes in a low oven for at least a couple hours until they are extremely tender and sweet.
Meanwhile get your mushrooms going, get a nice heavy bottomed pan on a medium high heat, I like to use a cast iron skillet as it adds instant flavour from the start. Place your mushrooms into a bowl along with 1tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and a good glug of olive oil. Mix the mushrooms well and add a little oil to the pan sautéing the mushrooms in small batches. The key is not to play with them too much, getting that nice golden brown . Set your mushrooms aside when cooked and wipe the pan clean.
Next sauté the onions till golden before adding the garlic, some fresh thyme and a squeeze of tomato puree. Cook this out for a few minutes on a medium heat then throw your mushrooms in alongside the oven roasted tomatoes. At this point you may need to add a little vegetable stock, but do it little by little.
From this point its all up to you, everything is cooked, but the longer you leave it to simmer the richer it will get. If you want it a little saucier, remove half and blend it down smooth.
Cook your favourite pasta according to instructions, toss the ragu in with it and serve with a salad or crusty bread.