200g lentils, ideally Lenticchia di Castelluccio di Norcia
1 carrot, fine diced
1 red onion, fine diced
50g pancetta, finely diced
2 sprigs rosemary
4 good Italian sausages
250ml red wine
100ml beef stock
salt and pepper
(1). Place lentils in a pan and cover with water, place over medium heat and bring to boil, allow to boil for 2 minutes then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until softened but not mushy. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO ADD SALT TO THE COOKING WATER IT WILL JUST MAKE THE LENTILS GO TOUGH. Once lentils are tender, remove from heat and drain.
(2). Pre heat the oven to 200 centigrade / gas mark 6.
(3). Add a little olive oil to a frying pan and brown the sausages, then remove from pan place on a baking tray and place in oven to cook through.
(4). Place the pan you just cooked the sausages in over a medium heat, add the wine and allow to reduce quickly for a minute or two, then add the beef stock and stir together well, scraping the pan bottom to get all the caramelised sausage from the bottom, then allow the sauce to reduce quickly to a thin sauce consistency. Pour sauce into a gravy boat and keep warm.
(5). Add a dash more oil to the pan you just cooked the sauce in if needed and saute the carrot, onion, rosemary and pancetta, till the veg are softened but not coloured and the pancetta is crispy. Add the drained lentils to the pan and stir together well and the lentils are warmed back through. Now you can season the lentils.
(6). Once everything is warm and the sausages are cooked through, place the lentils into the bottom of a serving bowl, sit the sausages on top then drizzle the red wine gravy around the side of the lentils and spoon some over the top of the sausages. Serve garnished with a sprig of rosemary and a drizzle of good olive oil.