Thursday, March 31, 2011

Italian Sausages with Lentils

For the lentils:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
Sprinkling of salt
2 cups dried Puy lentils (green or black or a mixture)
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ cup red wine
3 cups stock or water to cover the lentils
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sausages:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
6 fresh uncooked sweet Italian sausages
½ cup red wine
¼ cup water or stock
Flat-leaf parsley for garnish

1. To cook the lentils, put 2-3 tablespoons of oil into a good-sized pan or a Bram pot over low heat. When it’s warm, add the chopped onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook over a low heat until the onions are soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs, stir well, and cover generously with the red wine and the stock or water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30-50 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and most of the liquid’s absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can make this ahead. Reheat when you’re ready to proceed.
2. To cook the sausages, add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and the smashed garlic cloves to a heavy frying pan, and fry for a few minutes. Add the sausages and brown on all sides. Add the wine and stock, bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer the sausages for about 15 minutes, turning mid-way. When the sausages are done, cut in half on the diagonal, add them to the lentils. Mash the garlic into the remaining liquid and add it to the lentil pot. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, or more liquid until it is to your liking.
3. Before serving, reheat the lentil and sausage mixture over low heat. Sprinkle with parsley.

4-6 servings
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Bites

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