As a new mum, these days Ella Mills is all about meals that won’t be ruined if you turn your back for a moment.

She’s a big fan of recipes like this mushroom and walnut ragu, which “you don’t need to have strict timers on. When you’ve got a crawler trying to go for every electrical socket – that really, really helps,” she adds with a laugh. “Anything that might burn if you don’t have your timer on perfectly for three minutes is a real no-go these days.”

Mushroom and walnut ragu recipe (Nassima Rothacker/PA)
Mushroom and walnut ragu recipe (Nassima Rothacker/PA)
Mushroom and walnut ragu recipe (Nassima Rothacker/PA)
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Mushroom and walnut ragu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 572 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 166mg7%
Potassium 1243mg36%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 1069IU21%
Vitamin C 51mg62%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Mushroom and walnut ragu

Mushrooms and walnuts are a tasty and a hearty substitute for meat in this plant-based ragu recipe.
Cook Time40 minutes
Resting Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 572kcal
Author: Ella Mills


  • 2 bowls
  • Large, deep frying pan
  • Saucepan


  • 20 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 100 g walnuts
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • olive oil
  • 400 g chestnut or button mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper deseeded and diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 portions of pasta (about 80g per person)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • handful of chopped parsley to serve


  • Start by soaking the dried mushrooms. Put them into a bowl with the boiling water and leave for 20 minutes. Once soaked, drain well (but keep the liquid), then cut the mushrooms into small pieces.
  • While the mushrooms are soaking, chop the walnuts into tiny pieces – they need to look like large breadcrumbs. Place them in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat and toast for about five minutes, until golden, stirring every now and again. Once toasted, remove from the heat and spoon into a bowl. Place the frying pan back on the heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic and celery to the frying pan, along with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook for five to 10 minutes, until soft.
  • Add the fresh mushrooms and red pepper, with the thyme, oregano and rosemary, and cook for about five minutes, until soft.
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, tamari and dried mushrooms with their water. Leave to simmer for 10–15 minutes – you want the ragu to be thick and have lost the excess liquid. Stir in the walnuts and nutritional yeast and leave them to cook in the sauce for a final five minutes.
  • While the ragu is simmering, cook your pasta in a pan of boiling water, following the instructions on the packet. Drain well then stir into the ragu once both are ready. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.


Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 1243mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1069IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 4mg

Deliciously Ella Quick & Easy: Plant-based Deliciousness by Ella Mills, recipe photography by Nassima Rothacker, is published by Yellow Kite.

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