Lentils with Vermont Salumi Red Wine and Garlic Sausage

Lentils with Vermont Salumi Red Wine and Garlic Sausage
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Peter Colman, Vermont Salumi

1 pack 14-oz. Vermont Salumi Red Wine and Garlic sausage
6 cups water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
12 oz. French green lentils
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Chopped fresh parsley

Bring the sausage and 2 cups of the water to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, turning occasionally, until sausage are plump and the water has reduced by half, about 12 minutes.

Remove the sausage from the stovetop and tent with foil. Reserve 1 cup of the sausage liquid.

Melt the butter in a 2-1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add the lentils, the remaining 4 cups water, the bay leaf, and just enough reserved sausage liquid to cover.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.

Discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cover and set aside.

Heat the oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.

Transfer the garlic, tomatoes, and vinegar to the lentil pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, about an hour.

Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Slice the sausage and arrange over the warm lentils.

Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.

Serves 6.

Note: If you cannot find Vermont Salumi Red Wine and Garlic sausage, sweet Italian sausage is a fine substitute.