Italian Sausages with Lentils
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Italian Sausages with Lentils

This meal may not be the prettiest out there, but it is one of the tastiest plates of comfort food I’ve had in quite some time. It’s not surprising that this is the type of food that Nigella Lawson grew up with!

Italian sausages are browned all over and then cooked in a garlicky red wine bath, then served on top of hearty green lentils. I used spicy Italian sausage here, and was totally blown away with how much flavor came out of these few ingredients.

Italian Sausages with Lentils

My husband practically licked his plate clean. It’s safe to say that I’ll definitely be making this one again and again!

Funny side note: the next day, my toddler asked us if we were going to eat “wet salami and beans” again, and we were cracking up, because… well… I guess it did kind of look like that’s what we were enjoying so much! Ha!

Italian Sausages with Lentils
Mom’s Secret Recipe File – Chris Styler
Nigella Lawson (Adapted from Nigella Bites)

3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 onion, finely chopped
Sprinkling of salt
18 ounces dried Puy lentils (about 2 3/4 cups)
1 fat clove garlic, skin removed and squished with the flat side of a knife
8 Italian sausage links
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine
1/4 cup water
Flat-leaf parsley for sprinkling

1. To cook the lentils, put 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil into a good-sized saucepan (one that has a lid that fits) on the heat, and when it’s warm, add the onion. Sprinkle with salt (which helps prevent it from browning) and cook over a low to medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, stir well, and cover generously with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes or so, until cooked and most if not all of the liquid has been absorbed. I don’t add salt at this stage since the sauce provided by the sausages later (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.

2. Anyway, when the lentils are nearly ready or when you’re about to reheat them, put a heavy frying pan over medium heat, cover with a film of oil, and add the bruised garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then add the sausages and brown them on both sides, which won’t take more than 5 minutes or so – throw in the wine and water, and let bubble up. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and cook about 15 minutes. Using a fork, mash the now-soft garlic into the sauce and taste for seasoning. Add a little more water if it’s too strong.

3. Remove the lentils to a shallowish bowl or dish. (I evacuate the sausages from their cooking pan, plonk the lentils in, and then proceed). Cover with sausages and their garlicky, winey gravy. Sprinkle on some flat-leaf parsley.

Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • cheri

    Hi Ashley, lentils are my absolute favorites, love the addition of the sausage. “wet salami and beans sounds so cute, sounds like you have an observant one.

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      This dish definitely made me realize that I don’t use lentils enough. I hope you enjoy this one if you try it! And yes, my little guy is super observant. Makes for some pretty funny conversations 🙂

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