Rinse the lentils, pick out and discard any hard odd bits, then put in a pot and cover with water. Add the sage and garlic and simmer, partly covered, for 25 minutes or so. Add a little hot water if the level becomes low and season with salt towards the end of the cooking time. Drain, keeping the cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it is sticky. Add the tomatoes, a dash of salt, pepper and the chilli. Simmer, mashing down any large lumps, for 10 minutes or so, until the tomato has collapsed. Add the lentils, along with about
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water to al dente. Drain the pasta and serve in warm wide pasta bowls. Ladle some lentil ragù over each (you may have some ragù left over — I like to serve it with boiled potatoes the next day). Some like this spaghetti with parmesan, but others insist it should be served without.
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