Lately it seems like bacon is getting all the buzz. Bacon-wrapped whatever. Bacon b e e r. Pork belly, too (that texture? Hard pass. Sorry. It’s like a legging. Not enough hold, too much movement, arguably – horribly unflattering).
While respecting the bacon-lovers among us, I am going to politely pitch sausage as the better of the two. Prepare to be convinced. (!!)
How often do you feel like going for a run after a nice sausage-packed brunch? Cue paradigm shift! I’m going to suggest the recipe that follows breaks all the traditional stigmas. I’m even going to suggest it’s a great pre or post-workout meal (yes!).
Rustic Lentil and Sausage Stew:
My family discovered this recipe years ago, as part of our obsession (read: fascination, glorification, fixation) with everything Italy. If only we were Italian. We’d fit right in (we think).
This is my take on Sausages and Lentils in the Style of Umbria, from Domenica Marchetti’s “Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy.” It’s a cookbook that’s truly worth it. I switched up the proportions a little for a higher lentil to sausage ratio and doubled the celery but my rendition is similar.
What you’ll need:
1 3/4 cups lentils
2 gloves garlic, smashed
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced expect for a 1-inch piece
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 mild Italian sausages, cut in half
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
- In a medium-sized pot, bring water to a boil with lentils, 1 garlic clove, bay leaf and a pinch of salt.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partly covered for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a dutch oven, and add sausage halves.
- Cook over medium-high heat, turning to brown all sides. About 10-12 minutes.
- Remove sausages but leave fat (at least most of it! Don’t pour out all the flavor…)
- Reduce to medium heat and add celery, onion and remaining garlic clove. Cook 8 mins.
- Add tomatoes and beef broth.
- Return sausages to the pot and pour in lentils.
- Simmer for 30 minutes
Enjoy! Remember not to eat the bay leaf…