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Sausages and Green Lentils with Salsa Rosso

June 3, 2009

This is totally a winter dish…broccoli, lentils, sausage and canned tomatoes…all things that are readily available in the colder

Lentils and Sausage with Tomato Rosso

Lentils and Sausage with Tomato Rosso

months, not to mention hearty.  But this recipe by Jaime Oliver really intrigued me.  It’s got cinnamon in a rich tomato salsa, lentils which I love, and is  South Beach diet friendly.  So despite being a little heavy for Spring, I went ahead and made it and loved it.  The salsa is what really makes it, with a hint of cinnamon and a really rich tomato flavor.  It brighten the flavor of the lentils and is great with the sausage.  The only substitution I made was that I used turkey Kielbasa instead of Italian sausages because the image I saw of the dish looked like it had Kielbasa, and that got stuck in my head.  Serves 4 generously.


For the salsa rosso:

1 T olive oil

1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced

1 stick cinnamon (you can buy a bag of sticks at the farmer’s market for about $1- it’s worth it)

1-2 small dried red chilies, crumbled (or 1/4 t red pepper flakes)

2-3 T red wine vinegar

1 28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes

For the lentils:

2 c de Puy or green lentils, rinsed

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 bay leaf

1 bunch fresh parsley

Salt to taste

2 T red wine or Sherry vinegar, for drizzling

Olive oil, for drizzling

1 bunch broccoli rabe or broccolini

1 large link turkey Kielbasa, or 4 large links Italian sausage


Sausage: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat sausage in a bit of olive oil and roast on a baking dish until cooked, about 25 minutes, depending on the size of the sausage.

Salsa rosso: In a saucepan, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat and add onion, sliced garlic, cinnamon stick and chilies and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.  Turn up heat and add the red wine vinegar (it will spit and steam, so stand back).  Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 25 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced a lot and the mixture is thick with very little liquid.  Season with salt.

Lentils: In a saucepan, add lentils and cover with water.  Add whole garlic cloves, bay leaf and 5 full sprigs of the parsley.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are soft but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes.  Add more water as necessary.  When cooked, drain excess water and remove bay leaf and parsley springs.  Remove garlic and mash with a bit of salt.  Return garlic to the pot, drizzle with vinegar and olive oil, and season with salt to taste.  Add 2 T chopped fresh parsley leaves and stir to combine.

Rinse and trim the tips of hte broccoli.  Bring water to a boil in a saucepan or skillet and add the broccoli, cooking for 3-4 minutes, or until desired doneness.  Remove broccoli from water and drain.

Divide lentils among plates.  Top with broccoli, sausage and salsa.

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