Sausage & fennel meatballs with lentils
Serves 4 Prep 10 mins Cook 55 mins £1.05 a portion 459 kcals, 16g fat, 5g sat. fat, 9g sugar
450g pack low-fat sausages 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 medium carrots, finely chopped 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 100ml full-bodied red wine 200g Puy lentils 1 tbsp tomato purée 850ml hot chicken or beef stock juice ½ lemon handful parsley, chopped, to serve
1 Squeeze the meat from the sausages into a large bowl. Add the fennel seeds and mix well with your hands. Shape the meat into 16 walnut-sized balls.
2 Heat 1 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the meatballs for 5 mins, turning regularly, until golden but not completely cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside.
3 Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan, tip in the chopped onion, carrots and sliced fennel, cover and let the veg sweat over a gentle heat for 10 mins until softened. Stir now and then.
4 Uncover the vegetables, turn up the heat and let them start to colour here and there. Stir in the garlic, sizzle for 1 min, then splash in the wine and let it reduce by half. Stir in the lentils, tomato purée and stock. Cover and simmer for 25 mins or until the lentils are almost tender. Add the sausage balls, plus a splash of water if the pan is looking a little dry. Cover and simmer for a further 10 mins until the meat is cooked through. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season to taste and scatter with parsley to serve.
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