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Lentils with Winter Pesto and Braised Sausages

Serves 4

Winter is the season to serve lentils and sausages complemented with fresh herbs, toasted walnuts, veggies and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.


  • 1/2 pound green or tiny French lentils
  • Salt
  • 1 cup watercress or arugula, packed
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup tarragon or mint leaves (a handful)
  • A handful of walnuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated or pasted
  • Pepper
  • A handful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 8 links fresh lamb, pork or chicken sausage
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 small ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Crusty bread


  1. Boil the lentils in salted water to just tender, 30-40 minutes, depending on their size. Drain and rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, process the watercress or arugula, herbs, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper, cheese, nutmeg and about 4-5 tablespoons EVOO in a food processor.
  3. Place the sausages in a skillet and add a half-inch of water and a drizzle of EVOO. Boil the sausages to cook through. Once the water cooks away, the casings will crisp in the EVOO.
  4. Once the lentils are cooked, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, in a skillet and add the carrot, celery and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook to tender, then add the lentils, stir in the watercress or arugula pesto and remove from the heat.
  5. Serve the lentils in shallow bowls with sliced sausages on top and some crusty bread alongside.