Hi everybody! I hope things are well – as I recover from the holiday season, I can firmly say that I’m ready for a new year in food. Over the holiday, I received quite a few cookbooks as gifts and have been hurriedly leafing through the pages. Naturally, eating and cooking inspiration comes and goes, but I’ll never get tired of flipping through beautiful glossy photos and overflowing ingredient lists. One book I received is The Silver Spoon, famed Italian cookbook-bible. I won’t even pretend I’ve gotten through half of the book yet – but somehow, I landed on the page about lentils.
I’ll be honest, lentils are something that my family never cooked while growing up and weren’t part of my early adult years at all. I love them now, though. To make up for lost time, here’s a quick and easy Italian sausage and lentil dish – it comes together in a snap and would be great as a main dish, a side, or even breakfast! If you end up making it, consider leaving us a comment or sending us an email! We’d love to rap about lentils with you.
Italian Sausage and Lentils
A hearty dish that can be paired with anything. It's great as a side, on its own, or with an egg on top.
- 2 links of hot Italian sausage
- 1 c. brown or green lentils
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 tsp pork/smoke base
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 stalk sage (5-10 leaves)
- small bunch of parsley
- 2 eggs (poached or soft boiled)
- high quality olive oil or smoked olive oil (for garnish)
- water (6-7 c.)
- salt to taste
› Start by roughly chopping the carrot, onion, and celery – leave the pieces big as we’re using them for flavor and not as part of the final dish. Take a dutch oven or medium sized soup pot and combine chopped carrot, onion, celery, 6 c. water, and soup base. Bring to a boil – once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the flavors meld. [This can be skipped if you’re in a rush] Pour in your lentils and let simmer for 20-30 minutes, testing after 20 minutes. Once complete, remove your flavor components (onion, carrot, celery, bayleaf) and drain the remaining liquid.
› While the lentils simmer, set your sausages in a pan with 3-4 tablespoons of water and cook over medium heat. Flip after about 5 minutes – once the water evaporates, the sausages will start to brown. Cook to completion, about 10 minutes altogether, adjusting heat to obtain a crispy exterior. Watch out for splattering grease which can easily aerosolize [don’t be like me].
› Finally, poach or soft boil some eggs – this is totally optional but adds a layer of decadence that you don’t want to miss.
› Once the lentils are tender, the sausage is cooked, and you’ve got your garnishes ready, it’s time to plate. Scoop a healthy ladleful of lentils into a wide, shallow bowl. Slice sausages on the bias and layer on top of the lentils. Nest a cooked egg in the middle of the collection of ingredients. Garnish with chopped sage, parsley. Drizzle your favorite olive oil over the top and enjoy.
Creator’s Notes: As we ate this dish, we thought it totally made sense as a soup/stew too. Naturally, this recipe exists out in the world. If you wanted to go the soup route, I’d recommend not draining the lentils and just adding your ingredients from there.