Sausage and mash will always have its place in our house, there is no dispute. However, if pushed, I think there’s something I prefer even on the coldest of Autumn nights and that is sausage and lentils. Nutty, earthy and seasoned with dried chilli and maybe a fennel spiced sausage, for me, nothing tops it.
An Italian home cooking staple, my favourite version keeps it simple. Fantastic little lenticche verde lentils from Buonissimo Deli with the wild boar sausages from Binns, both on Bingley Road, make for a perfect midweek supper. Surely a classic example of ‘cucina povera’ this is a very simple meal that I think requires practice and close attention to get right.
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 6 wild boar sausages
- 1/2 brown onion, diced fine
- 1 medium carrow, diced fine
- 1 stick celery , diced fine
- sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed to paste
- 180g lenticce verde lentils, washed
- fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp dried chilli
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 glass white wine
- 500ml chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Heat the oil in a stew pot over a medium flame and add the onion, celery, carrot and salt. Sweat without colour until the onion is translucent before adding the garlic. Cook for another minute until the garlic smell is no longer raw.
- Meanwhile, fry the sausages until well browned.
- Add the lentils and coat thoroughly in the oil, season with pepper, add the tomato paste and stir well, cooking out the raw tomato for a minute. Season with pepper and chilli.
- Add the white wine and bay leaf until the alcohol smell has gone before adding the stock.
- Add the sausages, fat and juices to the main pot.
- Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 40-50 minutes. The lentils will be perfect when cooked through but retaining a little nutty bite. When stirred, they should flow in slow waves like a perfect risotto.
- Season to taste with salt, add the parsley and dress with more extra virgin olive oil.