Dear Mother Nature:
You’ve had you’re little joke!
We get it. We live in Maine. Snow is part of the equation … except for, as my friend John Dwyer says, July 18th between 1:00 and 1:15.
We’ve shoveled the walk, and
and shoveled the walk!
And although it doesn’t look that way, dug the car out! (And, no, Jeannie, that isn’t Jack Nicholson and this isn’t Shiningville)
We’ve spent many a quiet Saturday hanging around the house with no problem. A little puttering here, a little puttering there. But when you CAN’T go out. When your driveway looks like one of the faces of Everest, you’re suddenly bored to tears and pacing the house like a caged cat! Well, at least I am. The Dear one spent the last two days building new cabinets for the kitchen (yay, snow!)
Boredom sets in.
Binge eating is a possible solution, but then when it’s time to go outside, you won’t be able to fit into your clothes or get through the front door.
But cooking, cooking is always an option, and for me a cure to what ails me.
I wanted something warm and filling, simple, yet not too simple. Most importantly, it had to be made with what I had on hand. See, our snow has snow and while we may get a wee reprieve this afternoon, Sunday night we’re getting … what, you may ask? Yes, that’s right SNOW! And then Thursday? SNOW!
Wait, we were talking about what I had on hand … sausage, lentils, red wine? Nigella and Nigella Bites saved me and my frosty Dear One.
- 3–4 T olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- sprinkling of salt
- 500g Puy lentils
- 1 fat clove garlic, squished with the side of a knife, and skin removed
- 8 Italian sausages
- 100ml red wine
- 50ml water
- flat-leaf parsley for sprinkling
NOTE: THIS IS A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF LENTILS! I used slightly less than half and still have some in the freezer for soup!
To cook the lentils, put 2–3 tablespoons of the oil into a good-sized saucepan (and one which has a lid that fits) on the heat and when it’s warm add the chopped onion. Sprinkle with salt (which helps prevents it browning) and cook over a low to medium heat till soft (about 5 minutes).
Add the lentils, stir well and then cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil, then cover and let simmer gently for half an hour or so until cooked and most, if not all, the liquid’s absorbed. I don’t add salt at this stage since the sauce provided by the sausages later (and which will be poured over the lentils) will be pretty salty itself.
NOTE: You can cook the lentils in advance.
When either the lentils are nearly ready or you’re about to reheat them, put a heavy-based frying pan on the stove, add a little olive oiland add the bruised garlic. Cook for a few minutes then add the sausages and brown. When the sausages are brown on both sides add the wine and water and let bubble up.
NOTE: You can add some extra chopped garlic here.
Cover the pan, either with a lid or tin foil, and cook for about 15 minutes. Using a fork, mash the now-soft garlic into the sauce and taste for seasoning, adding a little more water if it’s too strong.
Remove the lentils to a shallow bowl or dish then cover with the sausages and their garlicky, winey sauce. Sprinkle over some flat-leaf parsley.
NOTE: OR … takes sausages out, add the lentils, mix, sausages back on top and sprinkle with parsley!