Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pasta with Lentils and Sausage

I've been trying to dumb down my weeknight meals so they don't take three hours and a Ph.D. to prepare. Now that I'm working full time again, I just don't want to spend hours in the kitchen after spending hours at my desk. But it's hard to quash my enthusiasm for cooking; I want to make something interesting and good, and leftovers don't always qualify as either. So I try to find the balance between cooking a little but cooking well.

One night this week I made a pasta dish with lentils and sausage. You can use any kind of sausage you like except for the really esoteric ones like lamb and apricot (I have that in my freezer and haven't figured out quite yet what to do with it). I used a pre-cooked andouille because I thought it would pair nicely with the lentils and the tomatoes in the sauce, but any robust sausage would do, like kielbasa or Italian.

So brown the sausage in a bit of oil in a Dutch oven. Add a small can of diced tomatoes, a chopped onion, some chopped carrot, several pressed cloves of garlic (don't be shy) and some dried rosemary. Saute it all until it starts to smell really good, then add just about two quarts of water (I substituted about a cup of the water with some big red wine) and two cups of lentils. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes. At some point, I stuck my immersion blender in the pot to thicken it up a bit.

I cooked up some farfalle to go with it, and added it right at the end and let it all sit together for a few minutes. But it didn't work well as a leftover (for lunch) because the pasta got mushy. Next time, I'll spoon pasta in the bottom of each person's bowl, then ladle the lentils over it. That will mean no pasta in the leftovers but no pasta is better than mushy pasta!

It was good and it was quick, satisfying my need for a tasty dinner without killing myself.


Blogger Kimbie said...

Great! I've been looking for a lentil recipe : ) I found some in the cupboard a few days ago.

12:23 AM  

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