Sausage & fen­nel meat­balls with lentils

Easy Cook - - NEW YEAR COMFORT -

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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