Sausage and Fennel Meatballs with Lentils
Serves 4, Preparation time 10 minutes, Cooking time 55 minutes
450g sausagemeat or sausages squeezed out of their skins
1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb trimmed and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100ml full bodied red wine
200g Puy lentils
1 tablespoon tomato puree
850ml/1 and a half pints ckicken or beef stock
juice of half a lemon
handful of chopped parsley
1. Mix the sausagemeat and crushed fennel seeds with your hands and shape into 16 round balls.
2. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs until golden on the outsides but not completely cooked through, remove them to a plate.
3. Add the remainder of the olive oil to the pan and fry the onion, carrots and fennel. Cover and let the vegetables sweat over a gentle heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Uncover the vegetables, turn up the heat and let them colour slightly. Stir in the garlic for approximately 1 minute then add the wine and let it reduce by about half.
5. Stir in the lentils, tomato puree and stock, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
6. Add the meatballs and a little water if the pan is looking a bit dry, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
7. Squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter with the parsley and serve.