Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  2. 2 red onions , diced

  3. 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped

  4. 3 sprigs thyme

  5. 2 tbsp coriander seeds , coarsely ground

  6. 200 ml red wine

  7. 4 x 400 g canned chopped tomatoes

  8. 2 tbsp tomato puree

  9. 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

  10. salt and black pepper

  11. 400 g spinach leaves

  12. 1 handfuls basil

  13. 300 g brown or green lentils , (puy Lentils are a good choice)

  14. 400 g ricotta cheese

  15. 60 g parmesan , freshly grated

  16. 75 g breadcrumbs

  17. extra virgin olive oil , for drizzling

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a wide, deep saucepan, over a low heat. Add the onion and soften until tender and translucent - about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, thyme and coriander to the pan, while still on the heat. Stir for a few seconds, before pouring in the red wine. Cook down over a moderate heat, until almost all the wine has evaporated.

  3. Tip in the tinned tomatoes, and add the tomato puree, caster sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and turn down the heat. Simmer for 40-60 minutes, until thickened and rich-looking. Stir the spinach and basil into the sauce, and season to taste.

  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the lentils in a large pan of boiling unsalted water until just tender, though still holding their shape - about 15-20 minutes. Drain in a colander and stir the lentils into the tomato and spinach sauce.

  5. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Pour the gratin mixture into a shallow ovenproof gratin dish (21cm x 34cm) or shallow casserole pan. Scoop out tablespoons of ricotta cheese and dot over the surface of the gratin, pushing them down gently into the sauce. Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over the top. Drizzle the gratin with olive oil before baking.

  6. Bake the gratin for about 25-30 minutes, until sizzling and golden. Serve straight away.


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