Popular combo joins lentils in tasty dish


October 31, 2007|By Joe Gray | Joe Gray,Chicago Tribune

Sausage and rapini (also known as broccoli raab) are a popular combination over pasta, especially the classic orecchiette dish of southern Italy, but they taste great with the earthy flavor of lentils as well. A little blue cheese at the end provides some creaminess.

This dish could be adapted to use other greens instead, such as spinach, chard or kale; just remember to adjust the cooking time.

Joe Gray writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Lentils With Sausage and Rapini

Serves 4 -- Total time: 37 minutes

2 cups water

1 cup green lentils, rinsed, drained

3/4 teaspoon salt (divided use)

3 Italian pork sausage or kielbasa links, about 15 ounces

3/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 bunch (about 8 ounces) rapini, trimmed, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces crumbled blue cheese or shaved aged provolone

Place the water, lentils and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Heat to a boil; lower heat to a simmer. Cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Drain all but 1/4 cup of liquid; set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the sausages in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until browned on all sides; remove skillet from heat. Slice sausages into 1/2 -inch slices; return to the skillet. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits in the skillet. Lower heat to a simmer; add rapini, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, red-pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Cover; cook until rapini is tender, about 2 minutes.

Stir the sausage mixture into the lentils. Divide among 4 serving bowls; top with the cheese.

Per serving: 416 calories, 20 grams fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 42 milligrams cholesterol, 33 grams carbohydrate, 28 grams protein, 1,053 milligrams sodium, 11 grams fiber


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