Monday 10 July 2017

#readcookeat recipe : Sardinian Sausage & Lentil Stew

Halfway between chick lit and historical fiction, as it's set in the post World War II years on the small Sardinian island of Simius, Sara Alexander's Under A Sardinian Sky is the perfect poolside read for your summer holiday. (Click through to read my review.) It's also a great place to get inspiration for some lovely meals, and I bookmarked several foodie references as I was reading.

I've already shared my take on Seadas, little fried cheese pastries than can traditionally be served drizzled in honey (click through for that recipe), but this time, I was inspired by a more substantial dish :

p204 Carmela returned her full attention to cubing the sausage upon the thick wooden board. The memory of this sow's slaughter was from another life. As the meat browned, a rich aroma rose up from the pan, sweet-salt steam thick with oregano, rosemary, thyme, and bay. Before the meat was cooked through, Carmela reached for a brown bottle of vernaccia and doused the pan. The alcohol whooshed up into steam, swirling in concentric spirals that filled the kitchen with the reassuring smell of a New Year's feast. As the sugar of the cooking wine seeped into the meat, she scraped the onions and garlic off the bottom of the pan to coat them around the sausage. Then she reached over to the counter for a large enamel bowl and tipped its contents of dried lentils into the pan, each nutty bead like a miniature coin, the symbol for prosperity.
She stirred them around the meat, onions and garlic. [...]
Carmela dipped a ladle into the clear vegetable broth simmering on the back burner. She poured it over the lentils and meat, and continued without haste until the liquid reached halfway up the tall pan. She placed the lid on top and reduced the heat. It would simmer on a gentle flame through the entire afternoon, until Yolanda and her husband joined them after evening mass.

I couldn't find an authentic recipe for a Sardinian sausage and lentil stew, so I just followed (more or less) the instructions from the book, and added in the leftover potatoes and veg from the Sunday roast at the last minute, as they were taking up too much space in the fridge.

Sardinian Sausage & Lentil Stew

ingredients :

8 smoked sausages 
drizzle of olive oil
2 onions
1 clove of garlic
oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf
a glug of white wine (preferably a Sardinian Vernaccia di Oristano)
250g green lentils
chicken or vegetable stock
leftover cooked potatoes/carrots (optional)

I used some lovely (French) smoked sausages but Sardinia produces some great fresh sausages too, so you could use either. Rather than dicing them, as in the book, I chopped mine into thick chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the sausages until cooked through and starting to take on some colour (about 5-10 minutes).

Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few more minutes, then pour in the wine and herbs and increase the heat to reduce the wine.

Reduce the heat to a gentle flame and pour in the dried lentils.

Give it all a good stir then add stock until it reaches about halfway up the pan.

Cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the lentils are cooked (about 30-40 minutes - be prepared to add extra water so that the lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.)

I had lots of leftover cooked veg (mainly potatoes and carrots, with a few onions and mushrooms) which I decided to add to the pot. 

Once the added veg was warmed through, I spooned it out onto plates and it was good to go.

It's more winter fayre than summer food, but it was very tasty.

Linking up with the #readcookeat challenge over at Chez Maximka.

Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it used up my leftover cooked veg and potatoes.


  1. That was a totally mouthwatering description of the stew. I have read a couple of books set abroad recently, which are also a mix of recent historical and chick lit/romance genres. Your stew sounds very tasty. I wish someone cooked it for me. :)

  2. What a lovely description of the stew and yours looks really tasty as well. Will have to look out for this book

  3. Oooh this looks delicious, I love stews and casseroles xxx


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