Leftover spaghetti sauce

Unless it’s an omelette or a sandwich, cooking for one usually means that there are delicious leftovers.  If they survive the ‘eaten cold straight out of the fridge’ stage in their life cycle, leftovers may be heated up as is or alternately converted into a whole new dish.  My mother was adept at leftovers: bread and butter pudding springs to mind. She also made melba toasts and breadcrumbs from old bread.  These days I prefer to chop it up and strew over dishes before a final oven bake – see A supper dish


Left over lentil ragu is very accommodating.   It can go under a duck breast or pork chop.  But here I have used it to make spaghetti sauce:

  • Ingredients: 200 ml lentil ragu, 225 ml liquid, 3 small tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 2 mushrooms, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 handful fresh oregano leaves, 1 handful fresh parsley, 1Tbsp olive oil, parmesan shavings, 75g dried spaghetti.
  • Optional: Celery, chilli, aubergine, any other pasta.
  • Method: In a non-stick pan, sauté a diced onion, sliced pepper, garlic, mushrooms and chilli if using,  Add the fresh oregano leaves.  

When the mixture has sweated down, add the sliced tomatoes and, following this, the left over lentil ragù.  Add enough liquid (a mixture of 2 parts water to 1 part red wine is good) to cover the contents of the pan.  Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to bubble softly for at least 30 minutes. (Please note here that, according to the internet, 40% alcohol remains after simmering for 30 minutes.)

During this time put some spaghetti on to boil.  when it is cooked, drain and season. Have a look at the lentil ragù: it should be about the same consistency as bolognese.   Stir in the chopped parsley, then the drained spagetti.  Serve with shavings of parmesan cheese.

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