Italian Sausages With Lentils (Italean Sausagges with Lentels)

Written By Lucy Pinder on Friday, September 11, 2009 | 6:43 PM

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • - 1 Onion finely chopped
  • - 500g Lentils - either Puy or red
  • - 3 Large cloves Garlic
  • - 8 Italian Sausages
  • - 100ml Red Wine
  • - 50ml Water

Put 2-3 tablespoons of oil into a good-sized saucepan (and one which has a lid that fits) on the heat and when it's warm add the chopped onion and pancetta. Sprinkle with salt and cook over a low to medium heat till soft (about 5 minutes).

Add the lentils, stir well and then cover generously with cold water. (If using our Cirio lentils which come in a light tomato sauce to cook this recipe you can use this liquid and just add to it at this point but do not worry about needing to cook them.) Bring to the boil then cover, and let simmer gently for half an hour or so until cooked and most, if not all, the liquid's absorbed. I don't add salt at this stage since the sauce provided by the sausages later (and which will be poured over the lentils) will be pretty salty itself. So, wait and taste. And remember, you can of course cook the lentils in advance.

Anyway, when either the lentils are nearly ready or you're about to reheat them, put a heavy based frying pan on the hob, cover with a film of oil and add the bruised garlic. Cook for a few minutes then add and brown the sausages. When the sausages are brown on both sides - which won't take more than five minutes or so - throw in the wine and water and let bubble up. Cover the pan, either with a lid or tin foil and cook for about 15 minutes.

Using a fork, mash the now-soft garlic into the sauce and taste for seasoning, adding a little more water if it's too strong. Remove the lentils to a shallow bowl or dish then cover with the sausages and their garlicky winey gravy. Sprinkle over some flat-leaf parsley.

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