SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED IN THE LITTLE PINK KITCHEN LAST NIGHT.

I mean, it didn’t look like it was going to be an amazing night 

It was Monday.

I had spent the day doing accounts.

I may or may not have had way too many Pisco Sours on Sunday night.

But I promise you, something amazing happened in the Little Pink Kitchen last night.

And if you were on the outside, looking in, it would have looked like the most ordinary night ever.

We shared a beer and had a chat.

Mr P took the dog for a walk and I made a ragu.

We ate and we talked about nothing much in particular.

Mr P did the dishes and I hung out a wash.

And then we sat on the sofa, the dog between us, me reading a book and his doing something really nerdy involving the research of upload speeds or something.

And it was amazing.

Why?

BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE TO DO ANY DIY AND THERE WAS NO DUST ANYWHERE AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO FIT ANY INSULATION OR GO TO IKEA OR SCRUB A FLOOR ON MY HANDS AND KNEES.

And, after the DIY slog we have been through, this really, truly, properly is actually amazing.

A totally ordinary September evening.

So I decided to share this recipe, for a simple, weeknight ragu.

For those totally ordinary evenings that really do deserve to be celebrated in their own way.

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Heat some oil over a low heat.

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Finely chop an onion…

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and add to the oil...

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With a pinch of salt to stop it burning.

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Peel and finely chop a carrot.

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Cut the ends off two sticks of celery...

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Then finely chop that.

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And add the vegetables to the oil, stirring well.

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Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.

The reason for the long cooking time is flavour, by the way, not just because I’m some sort of chaffy nonce with notions about making you spend ages in the kitchen.

Promise.

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After that has all cooked nicely, peel a couple of cloves of garlic.

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And finely chop.

The finer you chop, the more garlicky the end result will be.

Mr P tends to take leftovers for lunch, so I didn’t go too fine.

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Add the garlic to the pan, and stir well.

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Then throw in your lentils…

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Some tomato puree...

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Some stock...

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And some red wine.

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This particular wine was what I managed to persuade a random bouncer to sell me after all those pisco sours on Sunday night.

(Well, we had to go for emergency Chinese food and of course I decided we needed wine because I am wired to some sort of cornflake and should just have gone home and drank tea and eaten toast but instead I ate cucumber salad and didn’t actually drink any of the wine I had gone to such efforts to obtain because even after too many pisco sours I have food standards like a massive wab.)

Anyway, moving on.

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Let that bubble away for 25 minutes.

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Then stir in some balsamic.

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And serve with pasta and as much cheese as makes you happy.

Enjoy!

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Green lentil ragu

Serves 4. Cooking time 40 minutes.

 

  • 250g green lentils
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 150ml red wine
  1. Heat the oil over a low heat.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion, before adding to the oil.
  3. Peel and finely chop the carrot, and add to the pan.
  4. Finely chop the celery, and add to the pan, stirring well.
  5. Cook the vegetables over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the lentils to the pan, along with the stock, tomato puree and red wine.
  7. Cook for 25 minutes.
  8. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and serve.