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Sausage Thyme and Lentil Casserole

4 Portions

6oz/175g  Puy lentils
1 large onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs Olive oil
14oz/400g   tinned tomato
1tsp granulated sugar
1tbs chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly milled pepper
8 large good quality herby pork sausages about 1lb 5oz/600g in total

You will also need a 6pt/3,5l flameproof-lidded casserole

Begin by rinsing the lentils, then place them in a saucepan with 1 litre of water (don’t add any salt), bring them to simmering point and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender but not disintegrating. Then drain them and keep the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile fry the onion and garlic in the oil in the casserole for 8 to 10 minutes to soften. Next add the tinned tomatoes, sugar, thyme and bay leaf and some salt and freshly milled pepper, and let it gently simmer without a lid until the liquid reduces and becomes rather thick – you may need to stir it now and then and it will take about 5 to 7 minutes.

Now heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and brown the sausages all over. Then, using a draining spoon transfers them to the tomato mixture.

Add the cooked lentils and 10fl oz/275 ml of the liquid in which they were cooked. Stir well, then cover with a lid and continue cooking over a very gentle heat for about 30 minutes. If the mixture begins to dry, add a little more liquid.

Taste and add pepper and salt, if it needs it, before serving.