Pumpkin lanterns have all been cleared away, spooky cupcakes have been eaten up and Halloween is over for another year – but it’s already time for the next holiday – no, not Christmas yet, but Bonfire Night!
I’m not sure how widely known the story behind the celebrations is outside of Great Britain, so for my readers further afield I’ll give a quick summary… in short, on the 5th November, 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes attempted but failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Since that day, every 5th of November Britons celebrate the survival of King James and the defeat of the plot with displays of fireworks and bonfires.
I’ve always liked the occasion, definitely much more so than Halloween anyway, and growing up I enjoyed going to a local fireworks display, waving sparklers and eating my Granny’s homemade toffee – a special Bonfire night treat!
Come November time, it’s usually pretty chilly, so it makes sense to fill your tummy with a warming meal before heading out into the cold to watch the fireworks. Today’s recipe is just the thing!
My “Hearty and Wholesome Meatless Ragù” is much more satisfying and tasty than your average pasta sauce. It’s got plenty of nutrition from the lentils, chickpeas and chunky vegetables, and the sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms add richness and extra texture.
Pasta gets a bad rap for being rather lacking in the nutrition department and it’s true that your typical white pasta, while it will fill your tummy, isn’t particularly nourishing. I’ve tried whole wheat and gluten-free pastas in the past, but they’ve left a lot to be desired taste-wise.
Fortunately, there are much better options these days and lately I’ve been really enjoying Rizopia’s brown rice pasta. It’s wholegrain and gluten-free but with no gumminess or graininess, just the regular taste and texture you’d hope for for your pasta.
Top it with my super-duper ragù and you’ve got an easy, balanced meal - definitely suitable for a weeknight and the perfect Bonfire night supper.
If you don’t fancy pasta, this ragù would also be nice over a baked potato or mash, or simply with a chunk of good-quality bread on the side.
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Onion, chopped
- 1 Carrot, chopped small
- 1 Stalk of celery, chopped small
- 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Fresh thyme
- Approx 175g/6oz Mushrooms, chopped
- 6 Sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 C Red wine OR Vegetable broth
- 1/2 400g/14oz Can Chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 C Cooked lentils
- 3/4 C Cooked chickpeas
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Warm the olive oil in a medium-large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring for approx 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute.
- Add the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes, turn up the heat and then allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lentils, chickpeas and plenty of salt and pepper and simmer for 5 more minutes until the beans are warmed through.
- Serve over pasta, mashed or baked potatoes or with crusty bread.
UK readers, will you be heading out to watch any fireworks? Readers beyond, do you know about Bonfire night?!
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[Disclosure: Rizopia send me some free samples of their gluten-free pasta to try but I was under no obligation to write about it, and, as always, all opinions are my own]