September is approaching fast, and as is our chilli Autumnal evenings! As soon as that temperature starts to drop, our bodies start craving, warm and hearty dishes. As much as we still wish that we could spend our evenings al fresco in the garden, we must not be in denial that autumn is coming so therefore we need to prepare our winter bellies. Previously I have made a sausage and bean stew for you, and this time I thought why not make it with lentils instead! This is typically an Italian dish.. which may actually surprise you compared to our normal stereotypical view of ‘Italians only make pizza and pasta’. But actually in the ancient walled city of Norcia, Italy, lentils and sausages are on every menu!
Lentils have so many health benefits for you including.. digestive health, lower cholesterol, improving heart health, helping to maintain weight loss, a great source of protein and increased energy levels. And as it turns out, they are also SUPER tasty when paired with sausages!
The rich and smokey lentil stew Ive created, Is packed with healthy vegetables including, carrot, celery and onion, which further add to that autumnal taste. Using up some ingredients in the fridge, I also fried off some smokey maple cured bacon rashers and added them to the mix. Who would of thought a double wammy pig, would combine perfectly in a stew!
Serving this dish I decided a little something green would compliment the dish perfectly. However there is already the perfect amount of crunch texture already in the dish, from your celery and el dente lentils, so I thought how about some courgettie? I simply fried the courgettie in the sausage pan after they were cooked. The courgettie soaked up all of the sausage juices and softened perfectly, almost like caramelised onions, to compliment this dish perfectly!
Ingredients… ( serves 2 hungry people)
- 4 sausages
- 1 tin of lentils
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 small carrots
- 1 courgette (spiralized)
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 rashers of smoked maple bacon
- Squeeze of tomato puree
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- Dice your onions, carrots, celery into small cubes and then finely chop your garlic!
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sweat down. Next add your celery and carrot and continue to cook for a few minutes.
- When this has started to soften chop your bacon rashers into small pieces and add to the pan. Cook until brown.
- Next add in your spices, puree and cook for a few minutes until the spices combine.
- Now add in your tomatoes and washed lentils. Continue to cook on a low heat for approx 20-30 minutes. Make sure you stir the dish regularly to the very bottom.
- After approx 25 minutes, turn on a frying pan to heat up for your sausages. Cook them for approx 15/20 minutes until brown all over and cooked in the middle.
- Once this is done, remove the sausages, and immediately add a little oil and add your spiralized courgette into the pan and cook on a low heat for approx two minutes.
- Whilst this is cooking, start to serve your lentils into a bowl followed by your sausages on top.
- Once your courgettie is softened add to the top of the dish and serve!
This dish is pretty easy to make, you just need to ensure to cook the lentil mix for long enough to really enhance that flavour and ensure you lentils are cooked. Make sure you do so on a low heat, with a lid on to make sure you don’t overcook your lentils, they still want a little bite to them.
Have a go at making this dish as Autumn starts to set in, and you will firmly love the warming hearty feel in your tummies. For more seasonal recipes follow my blog, thanks!