Italian sausage with salsa and red lentils
Lentils are symbolic of money. Their small, appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind for the New Year.
8 Italian sausages
1 pound baby broccoli
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh thyme tips
For the salsa
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 small stick of cinnamon
1-2 small dried red chilies, crumbled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 (14 ounce) cans plum tomatoes, chopped
For the lentils
14 ounces red lentils
20 ounces chicken stock
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
A handful of fresh Italian parsley, leaves chopped, stems reserved
Put a little olive oil into a pan, add the onion and sliced garlic, throw in the cinnamon stick and a good crumbling of chili, and heat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and sweet. Turn up the heat to medium high and add red wine vinegar, cook one minute —turn the heat down to low and add canned tomatoes that have been chopped. Simmer slowly
for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the lentils into a pot, cover them with stock, and add the 2 whole cloves of garlic, the bay leaf, and some stems from the parsley. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Toss your sausages in a little olive oil and put them in a roasting pan in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Blanch broccoli in a pot of salted boiling water for a few minutes then into ice water to prevent them from further cooking. When done, drain in a colander and toss in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil.
Once the lentils are cooked, remove the parsley stems and bay leaf and pour away most of the water from the pot. Mash the garlic cloves up with a spoon, mix in with the lentils, add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 or 2 tablespoons sherry. Throw in all your finely chopped parsley leaves, mix, and season.
Remove the sausages from the roasting pan and pour away any fat. Tip the lentils into your serving bowls. Remove the cinnamon stick from the salsa and discard it, then season well to taste and spoon it over your lentils.
Place 2 sausages sliced on top. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve with heated broccoli.