I like to use spring greens in this ragu but you could also use spinach, kale or cavalo nero. If you have a Parmesan rind then it would be good to drop that in the sauce whilst it’s cooking too for extra umami flavour.

Serve with polenta or pan fried gnocchi and grated Grana Padano or Parmesan.

Serves 4

Ingredients Equipment to have ready
1 tbsp olive oil Chopping board
1/2 onion, chopped Sharp knife
1 large carrot, finely chopped or grated Saute/casserole pan with lid
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Heaped tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs of thyme
400g mushrooms, blitzed
100g Puy lentils
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tin tomatoes
Heaped tsp marmite
400g can of butterbeans
Vegetable stock (fill the empty butterbean can)
150g spring greens, hard stalks removed and leaves shredded
Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a saute/casserole pan over a low heat. Add the oil and gently sweat the onions until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the carrot, garlic and thyme and cook for around 5 minutes until the carrot starts to soften.
  3. Turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Season with black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
  4. Stir through the Puy lentils and tomato puree. Cook out the tomato puree for a minute or so whilst stirring.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes, marmite, butterbeans and stock. Mix well and bring to the boil.
  6. Turn down the heat to as low as possible and simmer with the lid on for about an hour.
  7. If there’s still a lot of liquid, remove the lid and reduce the sauce until thick.
  8. Stir through the greens and cook for a few minutes until wilted. You want them to be just cooked so that they hopefully retain some green colour.
  9. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed.