Italian Sausage with Lentils

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This is the type of food you don’t want to end. It’s officially overtaken Osso Bucco as my favourite Italian dish. I guarantee you’ll love it. Make sure you get good quality Italian sausages or another country style variety. This will serve 2-3 people.

RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:
4 Italian sausages (or 2 per person)
1 cup puy lentils
2 garlic cloves
1 onion (roughly chopped)
1/2 celery stick (diced)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup red wine
1 litre beef stock (hot)
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
You’ll need 2 largeish frying pans (with lids to fit) for this. One for the sausages and the other for the lentils.

For the lentils:
Check the lentils for stones and bits of stuff that’ll crack your teeth if you’re unlucky enough to chomp down on one.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan over a medium temperature. Add the onions and celery and some salt & pepper and fry gently for 4-5 minutes until the onions soften. Add the sage and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the lentils, stir once, and then enough stock to cover by about 2cm. Let this come to the boil, reduce the heat and put on the lid. Cook for about 40 minutes until all the water has gone and the lentils are tender. Take the lid off towards then end if there’s a lot of liquid left. If there’s not enough add more stock in small amounts.

For the sausages:
In the other pan, heat a generous drizzle of olive oil over a medium temperature. With the side of a large knife, bruise each garlic clove and remove the skin. Add them to the oil and gently fry for about 1 minute until aromatic. Add the sausages to the pan and fry for about 5-7 minutes turning regularly to brown nicely on all sides. Turn up the heat, then pour in the wine, stir for a moment to burn off the alcohol then add and about 1/2 cup beef stock. Bring this to the boil, reduce the heat to low and put on the lid. Cook for about 20 minutes turning the sausages once or twice. Remove the sausage from the pan, mash the garlic a little then turn up the heat and reduce the sauce by about 1/2. Remove from the heat. Stir in some butter if you like and serve.

SERVING:
A couple of spoonfuls of lentils with the sausage on top – sprinkled generously with parsley. We also had a little brocolli just to give us a green count.

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