Italian Sausages with Gourmet Lentils Recipe

A few years ago I went on an organised trek along the Overland Track in Tasmania’s beautiful Cradle Mountain National Park. It is approximately 90kms and takes 5 days to complete, so I was expecting canned and reheated food for the duration of the trek, however it was anything but! The food that our guides served up each and every evening was fantastic and well on par with some of the better gourmet restaurants in Sydney.

We ate this dish on the first night, and I have to say, I don’t know if it was the utter exhaustion after trekking 12kms, but I was blown away by it. Sitting down to a beautiful meal with a wonderful glass of red wine in such amazing surroundings after a huge day was my idea of heaven.

Nigella Lawson has also done a similar kind of dish to this (with the same name), however this is far better (do you think I might be biased?). Make sure you soak the lentils overnight (this is the kind of dish that you need to start the day before), and choose quality full flavoured Italian sausages from a reputable butcher.

Italian Sausages with Gourmet Lentils Recipe Ingredients

  • 12 Italian sausages
  • 1/3 cup coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, freshly pressed (or finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 375g puy lentils
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Couple of sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 brown onion, chopped into quarters
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, freshly pressed (or finely chopped)
  • 300g Danish fetta, crumbled
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 punnet cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large handful chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges to serve

Italian Sausages with Gourmet Lentils Recipe Method

Soak lentils overnight in the fridge in plenty of fresh water. Rinse and drain the lentils and place in a large saucepan with the cinnamon stick, thyme sprigs, brown onion and enough fresh water to come approx 3/4 of the way up the side of the saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes. Once cooked, drain and discard the cinnamon, thyme, onion and cooking water.

Whilst the lentils are simmering, whizz the coriander, garlic, olive oil, paprika, cumin and lemon juice (top 6 ingredients from the recipe) in a blender or food processor until combined to a paste (this paste is called chemoula and is also wonderful on grilled fish and chicken).

In a large frypan, or on the barbeque, cook the sausages until golden brown on the outside and cooked through.

Whilst the sausages are cooking heat a glug of olive oil in a large frypan over medium heat and fry the paste, red onion and garlic lightly for a few minutes until the paste releases its aroma and the onions become golden. Add the lentils and stir for a few minutes. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes (whole or halved) and crumbled fetta.

Arrange the lentils on serving plates, scatter with the chopped parsley and top with the sausages (cut in half on the diagonal). Serve with plenty of lemon wedges to squeeze over the lentils. This recipe will serve approximately 6 people, with 2 sausages per person, however you can easily reduce the quantities for less people.