Ragù is a traditional Italian sauce from the area called Emilia-Romagna. This meatless version is based on seitan and packed with flavours.
Perfect with fresh homemade tagliatelle, or simply enjoyed on a slice of sourdough bread. You can easily make a good amount of ragù and have it on hand for a few days since it gets even better with time!
– 200g seitan
– 350ml tomato passata
– 100g carrots (approx. 2 medium-sized carrots)
– 50g celery (1-2 medium-sized stalks)
– 1 shallot
– Extra virgin olive oil
– 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes
– Black pepper
– Sea salt
– 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1. Organise your ingredients before starting to cook: prepare the finely chopped shallot, blend into small pieces the other vegetables, and reduce in small bits the seitan with a blender (you want to get a kind of “minced” texture) – keep these 3 preparations into separated bowls.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and add the shallots, then stir until they start to turn golden. Suddenly after, add the other vegetables in the same pot and stir well for approx. a minute. Following again the same procedure, add the seitan and mix well with the other ingredients.
3. The last few ingredients to add are the tomato passata and the spices – I’ll add just a pinch of salt, the smoked paprika, and 1⁄2 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper for now, but when the ragù will be ready, taste it and add more black pepper or smoked paprika according to your preferences.
4. Add also a little bit of water, just the right amount to keep your ingredients slightly covered, put a lid on the pot, and reduce the heat.
5. Cook your ragù stirring occasionally for at least 1 hour and a half, even better if you can cook it for 2-3 hours (remove the lid for the last 15-20 minutes).
6. For this preparation, a classic stockpot or casserole dish will work well, since you need something with enough space for all the ingredients, a lid to keep everything covered while cooking, and a good base to allow you to cook the ragù for a few hours.
How to use it?
1. Like the traditional meat-based ragù, this one will turn out great when paired with some tagliatelle or short pasta (such as penne or fusilli) or potato gnocchi, but you can also use it as filling for lasagne.
2. Cook your pasta “al dente”, rinse it with cold water, and stir it quickly in a pan with the ragù – serve with a little bit of olive oil and extra black pepper. You can also add some grated cheese on top – the Irish Creeny from Corleggy Cheese made of sheep’s milk is a lovely choice.
Chiara applies the same approach that she has in her everyday life, to her business “A Matter of Nourishment”: having a healthier lifestyle and being aware of what you eat can easily be part of your days, and can be a true celebration of great tasty food – freedom, joy, and confidence to choose what is best for you… this is what a healthy lifestyle should be about!
She has a background in chemistry, nutrition, and massage, but she also had the chance to collaborate for a few years with a photographer, she learned to cook from scratch experimenting in her kitchen and she practices yoga. After a few years working in research, she decided to turn her passions and studies into one unique project to help others in changing their relationship with food from the roots.
Chiara teaches her clients how to improve their daily life with a few simple steps, become more intuitive eaters, be more aware around food, and understand that by changing their diet they can truly change their lives.