© David Loftus
the best sausages with braised lentils and crispy prosciutto
Use Italian or Cumberland sausages and buy those that come rolled up like wheels.
Give the lentils a wash and place them in a casserole-type pan. Cover them nicely with water and then add a bouquet garni. Squash your tomatoes and add to the pan with the garlic cloves. Bring everything to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your lentils, and stirring occasionally until tender - you want the lentils to be soft and a pleasure to eat but still holding their shape. Keep an eye on the pan as they cook to make sure they don’t dry out. You can do this part on a gas hob, but also on the barbie while you’re waiting for the embers to die down after you’ve lit them.
When your lentils are cooked, remove the bouquet garni and the tomatoes, and drain away most of the remaining cooking liquid. Dress your lentils like a salad with the red wine vinegar and twice as much olive oil. Mush up the garlic, and stir it in then season carefully to taste. Keep warm.
To cook your sausages, rub with olive oil then put on the medium-hot part of the barbie. Keep moving them around at the beginning, as there’ll probably be flames from the fat hitting the heat.
Once the sausages have had 15 minutes and you think they’re nearly cooked, place them on the cooler part of your barbie. Lay your sage leaves over them and drizzle with olive oil. Put your prosciutto on the barbie and grill briefly until crispy.
Pile everything back into a large dish. I like to serve it with steamed broccoli, crusty bread and, best of all, gorgeous salsa rossa spooned over the top.
• 200g good small green or brown lentils
• bouquet garni
• 2 tomatoes
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2–3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• good-quality olive oil
• 1kg sausages
• a few bunches of fresh sage leaves
• 8 slices of prosciutto