3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
3 cups water
1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds sweet Italian sausage (12 links)
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
3 cups Tuscan kales leaves, cut from stems, rinsed and chopped (about one bunch)
1 cup dry white rice
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
Additional olive oil to drizzle over finished dish
In a 4-5 quart pan that has a tight fitting lid, over medium, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and once hot, add the onions and cook for three minutes.
Add the garlic, water, broth, bay leaves, salt, pepper and Italian sausage links and bring to a boil.
Cover and lower to a slow simmer and cook ten minutes.
Remove sausages with tongs and drain on paper towels.
Add the lentils to the pot, again cover and get to a low simmer and cook 30 minutes covered.
While lentils are cooking, in a large saute pan, add the last tablespoon of oil and over medium heat, brown the sausages for about ten minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Keep the heat on medium and add the wet Tuscan kale leaves and saute a few minutes until wilted, scraping up any brown bits from the pan bottom. Set this aside for now.
After the lentils have been simmering for 30 minutes, add the dry rice and wilted kale, bring back up to a simmer (make sure there is about two cups of liquid left in pan, if not add a little more water or broth), cover and lower to lowest heat with pan half off burner. Set timer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove lid, find and discard the bay leaves, and stir in the canned tomatoes with juice.
Press the cooked whole sausage links into the mixture to reheat, cover and let sit five minutes then serve on a platter with a little additional olive oil drizzled over the top of the platter or serving.
Keywords: Italian Sausage with Lentils and Rice