Recipe: sausage and lentils

When the wind is whipping through the fields and wrapping itself around the house, it,s time to light the fire and set a pan of tiny Norcia lentils on the stove. Simmer with plenty of water to cover, a garlic clove, a piece of tomato, a stalk of parsley, a chunk of onion and a goodmspill of beautiful olive oil. Give them a little sea salt and let them be until tender. In a pan close by, sauté finally chopped onions (2 per pund of lentils) a carrot and a stalk of celery with a whole head of garlic whacked in half and dropped into the mix as is. add a few sage leaves and a good stalk of rosemary. cook them over a medium heat with plenty of attention. Soffritto is like a five year old, the appearance of independent, but the truth is they need you. When well caramelized, seed and chop a few good, ripe tomatoes and warm through. remove from the pan and add sausages that u have boiled before hand to remove the fat. sear well on all sides. combine everything, lifting the lemtils from their cooking water to the pot of sausages and onions, leaving the liquid behind. Use only as much as u need to make it soupy, but not soup. and add a good por of chianti. Let it simmer, and taste for salt, pepper and more chianti. finish with a good pour of olive oil. If u are out of the lovely stuff, or have yet to find it, let it be. (when u sip good olive oil, I t should taste like the fruit of the olive, like fresh cut grass, and leave no greasy feel on your lips.)
Let sit for half an hour and then reheat gently.
serve with fried zucchini, arugula leaves and any leftover gorgonzola dolce dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, a platter of good prosciutto and the summer,s last melon, and a plate of roasted cauliflower, carrots and red onions. a bowl of green olives with a drizzle of olive oil and a shower of lemon zest is nice as well.
for dessert: a country classic of fresh ricotta, stirred into a bit of mascarpone, with a little sugar and espresso powder (not instant) added to finish. serve in little cups with shavings of chocolate.

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