Umbrian lentil and homemade sausage stew

Umbrian lentil and homemade sausage stew

Salsicce fatte a mano con lenticchie

Simple Cooking
Alastair Hendy

This dish is truly wonderful when using the fresh sausages made by the local Norcian master butchers, who are known as norcini. As they may be difficult to find, I suggest making the sausages from scratch instead – it’s not too complicated, and it is well worth it. You can get hold of Castelluccio lentils, the Italian Puy lentils, in a good delicatessen.


Quantity Ingredient
2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed
50g sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
250g castelluccio lentils
450ml chicken stock
2 celery stalks, chopped, with leaves
salt and pepper


Quantity Ingredient
500g minced pork
50ml strong red wine
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 mild chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped


  1. For the lentils, fry the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes in 6 tablespoons of the olive oil for a few minutes in a large pan. When the garlic starts to turn pale golden, add the lentils, stock and celery, and cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Cover and keep warm over a low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, mix the sausage ingredients together well and season with salt and pepper. Take a handful of mince and roll it into a sausage shape, 8 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. Wrap tightly in a piece of foil, closing by turning the ends as you would a sweet.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Poach the sausages in the boiling water until they pop up to the surface, about 2–3 minutes. Leave to cool a little, then take off the foil. This poaching should ensure that the sausages hold together.
  4. Moisten the sausages with the remaining olive oil, then fry or grill (or roast) until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the sausages to the warm lentils, and allow to cook gently together for 5 minutes. Eat with bread or, if you like, with a few boiled potatoes.

To make it more special

  • These homemade sausages can be made with many different meats and spices. Replacing the pork with lamb and the fennel seeds, chilli and rosemary with 1 teaspoon each of chopped cumin, thyme and sage makes for a tasty alternative combination.
Simple Cooking
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