Salsiccia con Lenticchie (Italian sausages with lentils)

30th November 2017

Interview: Adam Park
Photographs: Dan Dennison

“This dish seemed to crop up in all sorts of restaurants when I first moved to London, places like St John, The Quality Chop House and the Eagle. For one, it relied on having access to the sort of lovely old Italian delis that still existed in Soho and Clerkenwell. It was also cheap. As with anything worthwhile, this is even better made a day or two in advance and reheated. Ask for ‘salsicchi’: they’re solidly porky with garlic, red wine and a hefty waft of fennel.”
Tim Hayward, food writer, Cambridge

Serves 4


200g diced pancetta, chopped
8 Italian sausages
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
200g Castelluccio lentils, or Puy if you’d prefer
A few glugs of red wine
300ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 fat clove of garlic
A few sprigs of thyme


Start by rendering down the pancetta to create the starting fat, and use it to brown the sausages. The sausage only need a light browning, but they’ll render out a little fat too.

Lift out and set aside the sausages, leaving the fat (and the pancetta) in the pan to cook the soffritto. Add extra olive oil if needed. Cook the veg slowly until it’s all getting soft, sticky and a bit brown round the edges.

Now lower the heat and add the lentils. Stir them around until they’re all properly greased, then pour in the red wine.

Rack up the temperature and allow the rougher elements of the booze to boil off, then pour in enough chicken or veg stock to cover the lentils.

Add the crushed garlic and the thyme, then sink the sausages into the pan like little fat alligators in a swamp and let the whole lot simmer, incredibly gently, for at least 20 minutes. Don’t bother stirring much, but add a little boiling water if things look like they’re getting dry. Keep tasting to check the doneness of the lentils and the flavour as the juices concentrate.

When everything starts coming together turn off the heat, give things a stir, cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Posted 30th November 2017

In Recipes


Interview: Adam Park
Photographs: Dan Dennison