FIX. - Elizabeth Hewson X Saturday Night Pasta Roast Vegetable Ragu

Elizabeth Hewson‘s roast vegetable ragù is full of flavour, comfort, and heart. This ragù is approached by throwing soffritto (the base of all ragùs) and a few extra vegetables in the oven to get some colour before they head into the pan for a long and slow cook.

Aided by brown lentils for weight, sweet potatoes for texture, and milk to round it all out. Toss through rich, eggy pappardelle.

Serves 6


1 onion, cut into 6-8 wedges
2 sticks celery
1 whole head of garlic, cut in half
2 carrots, cut into 6 sticks
½ sweet potato cut up into thick slices
3 big mushrooms, stalks removed
3 tablespoons or so of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup brown lentils (uncooked)
1/3 cup red wine (I use the wine I intend to drink with it)
500ml vegetable (or chicken) stock
1 x 400g can of tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
Fresh pappardelle pasta


Put your oven on to 210°C. Evenly space out your vegetables on a tray. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and give everything a good coat. Throw into the oven for 30 minutes – you want them to get a bit of colour on them. Blitz your roasted vegetables in a food processor so they are very finely chopped, almost like a paste.

Heat a large deep frypan over medium heat. Add the remaining oil, your veggie puree and cook for two minutes. Add lentils and mix everything together for a further two minutes.

Pour in your wine, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and give everything a good stir. Add bay leaf, season and bring to the boil. Boil for a few minutes then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove lid, add milk and cook, uncovered for a further 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. If you’re not feeding a crowd, I freeze half my ragù for a rainy day.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a lively boil and season as salty as the sea. Add your pasta and cook until al dente. Scooping out a cup of pasta water.

Toss in hot pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano and 1/3 cup of pasta water to loosen things up. Give everything a good toss around, adding more water if you need. Everything should be loose and relaxed – just like you. Serve with extra cheese.

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