Sausages and Lentils


We’re back from decorating the tree at the boyfriend’s parents’ place in South-West London. His dad is a fan of the ‘throw everything remotely decorative on the tree’ approach and it’s been, in the six years I’ve Christmassed with them all, a tradition of sorts to tease the poor Italian man – he of excellent cooking and loafers and immaculate grooming – for his bad taste.  This year we have avoided the red heart-shaped lights, the fraying gold and maroon rope and the plastic candles so all in all I think it’s considered a win.

Predictably I am already LOATHING the thought of January. And February for that matter.  Sadly for me they will consist of winter and dieting, the latter for very good reasons (busted knee, big party happening in April) but it fucking well sucks and there won’t even be any Christmas cheer around in the form of lights and constant drunken public displays of happiness to lighten things.

I’m counting down to New Year but only in terms of ‘days left of eating’. I’m doing my  best to truly fatten up before the slaughter of January. All the more to delight myself with quick results. Doesn’t it go ‘the fatter you are the easier it is to lose weight’, at least at the beginning?

Right, onto the recipe, which I am typing out to the sound of In the Night Garden, currently being enjoyed by NewHuman and the boyfriend, in Italian. Well culture.

A fairly non-diet supper was consumed the other evening, albeit a relatively refined one for me. I kind of morphed my own ideas with a Nigella recipe (oh poor Nigella, whose private decision-making on all aspects of life has become public, imagine the horror if it was you) and added cavolo nero. Delicious.



6 sausages of your choosing, I chose nice pork ones. I think I do probably mean pork ones, in general.

Puy lentils, I used a mugful of dry ones



1 clove garlic


Some onion chutney, if you can

Chicken or vegetable stock – about 500ml – basically two parts stock to one part lentils

1 large glass red wine


I served mine with cavolo nero, as mentioned.


Prepare your cavolo nero thusly – basically take out the stalks.

Wash, chop into strips.


Into a pan put the chopped onion with a little splodge of oil and soften for a few minutes. Try not to let it brown.

Stir through lentils you’ve rinsed under some cold water, coating them with the oil and onion, then add the stock. Bring it up to a gentle simmer and stick a lid on, let it cook until done.  Took about 40 mins for me – do NOT salt the lentils innit. Their skin will go tough and, anyway, you shouldn’t need extra salt with the stock being there and all.


Whilst the lentils get their cook on prep the rest of the stuff.  See above.

You can totally cook the lentils ahead of time and then just warm through whenever you’re ready to sort the sausages.  You’ll also totally have way too many lentils and, like the boyfriend, choose to take the leftovers to work for lunch. I believe he accompanied his with cottage pie. Eclectic choice.


In a big frypan just lightly brown the sausages in some oil, then add some mashed/crushed garlic and the red wine.

Let simmer till the sausages are done. The sausages will look pretty rank for ages, then all of a sudden will start to take on the colour of the wine and things will begin to appear much more palatable. Good.

When they’re cooked remove the sausages and stick in some foil, add the cavolo nero to the red wine juicy stuff and cook over a medium heat for five mins or so – basically until it goes tender.  The cavolo nero will pick up all the juice so the pan will be fairly dry when done.


Speaking of dry pans, we left home at about 1115am this morning, the kettle on to boil. Got home at 530pm and the kettle was still on to boil.  Oops.


Wimbledon Common was nice. Muddy, but nice.

Right, below is the finished meal. Plop some cavolo nero on the plate, then having stirred a good tablespoon of chutney and a nice squeeze of lemon through the warm lentils, add a nice pile of those on top, then some sausages, then some parsley.  Crack some pepper over the top.

Freaking yum.



3 thoughts on “Sausages and Lentils

  1. narf77 says:

    As horticulturalists, we have learned the value of trees staying alive in the ground and haven’t had a cut/fresh tree in years. In saying that, we HATE plastic trees and so set out each year to create ourselves a tree like structure. We started with branches that we sprayed artistically with gold and silver paint (oversized antlers were totally “IN” that year I tell you!), then we branched out (get it? I made a pun?) and started getting a bit more creative with sticks etc. Our stick tree was a triumph, sticks nailed to a central branch in a decreasing spiral…we almost had to head off to the internet to learn about spirals, maths and applied physics but at the last moment we decided “BOLLOCKS” and just did it our way (like Frank Sinatra but without the bells and whistles).

    We were going to stick with that tree for a few years. It has potential and style. It looked amazing decorated with lights and baubles and we were suitably proud of it. So proud, that we stored it in the wood shed…we pulled it out of storage a year later and wondered why it was looking a bit worse for wear until we tried to stick the central bit into its artistic large block of wood base and discovered that the borers had decided to sample it. A disintegrating Christmas tree a week before Christmas certainly adds a new level of stress to your day.

    We headed down to the riverbank, collected up all the driftwood we could find and cobbled ourselves together a pirate Christmas tree. We even stored it in the wood shed in defiance of the borers who most probably gave it a sterling effort but salty soaked wood was our saviour last year and so we were able to vacuum it off and it stands as a testament to bad taste, looking for all the world like a lunatic from the ornament factory threw up on it and making me more than ecstatic that we are hermits and our house won’t be crawling with revellers to taunt us about our tree

    A pan of lentils…a vegan’s staple fare. Got to say it’s hard not to let something brown when it is surrounded by the ultimate in “brown”, the lentil. The only kind that I have been able to stomach are red lentils and if I am forced to ingest the brown/green kind, they have to be boiled to mush and unrecognisable. Good try with the chutney stirred through but I fear there isn’t enough chutney in the world that will have me gagging for lentils (another pun but not in very good taste so you can ignore that one 😉 ). It’s kind of you to throw pork sausages into the mix. Let’s me off the hook this time ;).

    I just made the U.K. pork pie fest for Stevie-boy ex pat. He doesn’t require much, a skin full of pale ale and a stack of pork pies a mile high. I have a great recipe that never fails (note I just set myself up for an EPIC fail next year…) and set about making the lard pastry and photographing my efforts for posterity (and FB and prospective blog fodder for my next post). Halfway through reviewing the images of the process and all of the other nibblies that I was making I noticed that my images had taken on a decidedly Instagrammed look…I thought I must have clicked one of those knobs on the top of the camera that make the camera take excellent shots of grizzly bears while you are running for your life, or maybe I hit “fog over your food shots” or similar but it was on my old faithful “Auto” so no idea…Steve had a look at the camera and it didn’t take him long to work out that I had smeared a lardy finger on the lens when I was making pork pies…sigh…there goes my photographic career before it began!
    Have the best Christmas; forget about that weight loss till the New Year. Who knows…”robust” might be de rigeur in vogue this coming year? And give the dog and New Human a squish from us all down here on Serendipity Farm and if it is any consolation to you at all for having to live in Old Frigid Blighty, we have rain forecast for Christmas Day 😉

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