It’s back to work tomorrow – meh. This means stocking up the freezer with healthy, nutritious meals that can be on my plate within minutes, avoiding the “thing on toast” or “bowl of cereal” options that are too often an easy way out when I am tired.

One of my favourite dishes to have ready in the freezer is a ragu made of a base of lentils and tomatoes. It’s versatile and comforting and it’s always a pleasure to find a portion stowed away at the back of the freezer.

Over the years I thought I had perfected my version – until I tried Yotam Ottolenghi’s version in The Guardian. Using very similar ingredients, he has managed to get a depth of flavour and smokiness that mine seemed to lack. The addition of coconut cream really adds a bit of luxury too.

The full recipe is here:, it makes about 5 single portions. (The recipe for Confit oyster mushrooms with lemon aïoli on the same page looks divine too so I am going to try and veganise this – watch this space!)

The only adjustments I made to the receipe were to leave out the pearl barley (I will add this or pasta or rice and polenta as I fancy it) and making it slightly wetter. To be honest, my first portion was simply eaten with a hunk of sour dough bread as it was just to good!