- 1 cup dried lentils
- 4 1⁄2 cups cold water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 medium fennel bulb, stalks discarded, reserving fronds (sometimes labeled "anise")
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 1⁄4 lbs sweet Italian sausage links
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Directions See How It's Made
- Bring lentils, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender but not falling apart, 12 to 25 minutes.
- While lentils simmer, cut fennel bulb into 1/4-inch dice and chop enough fennel fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 3 to 4 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then stir in onion, carrot, fennel bulb, fennel seeds and remaining teaspoon salt.
- Cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, lightly prick sausages in a couple of places with tip of a sharp knife, then cook sausages in remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a cutting board.
- Drain cooked lentils in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve cooking water. Stir lentils into vegetables with enough cooking water to moisten (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and cook over moderate heat until heated through.
- Stir in parsley, pepper, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds. Season with vinegar and salt.
- Cut sausages diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve lentils topped with sausage and sprinkled with remaining tablespoon fennel fronds.
- Drizzle all over with extra-virgin olive oil.
- Makes 4 (main course) servings.
- That's it!