I really like fennel but it’s just not something I think about very often.  I was at the store today, reaching for some parsley, when there it was.  Impulse buy.  I didn’t know what I was doing with it, but I knew it was going to incorporate Italian sausage – it was already in the ‘fridge at home. A quick search of an old Bon Appetit led me to a concept with lentils.  Lentils are another thing I absolutely love and while I used up the last of my lentils du puy the other day making soup, I did have some black beluga lentils.  A recipe was born!

It’s a really simple recipe and without the sausage makes a great vegetarian dish.  I could see some big chunks of roasted squash on top – it would look great and taste even better.

So go for it – have some fun.

Italian Sausage, Lentils, and Fennel

  • 1 cup lentils du puy or black beluga lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • splash red wine
  • 3 tbsp Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • S&P to taste
  • Italian sausage

Cook lentils in salted water until cooked through but not mushy – 15 to 20 minutes depending upon type.

While lentils cook, cut fennel bulb into 1/4-inch dice. Cook onion, carrot, fennel bulb, fennel seeds, and garlic until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add a splash of red wine and cook down.

Grill sausages.

Drain cooked lentils and stir into vegetables with enough cooking water to moisten and heat through. Stir in parsley, S&P to taste, and vinegar.

Serve lentils topped with sausage.

Quick, easy, and lots of flavor.

And it looks great in one of those hand-painted bowls you bring back from Italy.