Lentil Stew

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This recipe was inspired during our recent cooking tour of Umbria. A delicious lentil dish was one of the many grain dishes we learned to make. They called it Lenticchie e salsicce in umido, but we think we might call it a lentil stew. It contained Italian sausage, of course, but we used a chicken version to make this tasty entrée. Served with a whole grain roll and some fruit for dessert, you’ll have a great lunch or dinner on a chilly fall day.

(Makes 4 servings)

1 cup dry lentils
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 Italian sausages or chicken Italian-style sausages (about 12 ounces)
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup of hot water
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper

Wash and sort lentils. In large kettle, bring 2 quarts of water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Rinse and drain. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in olive oil in large skillet over medium heat until onions are slightly soft. Crumble 1 sausage into skillet mixture and cook about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and remaining sausages (cut in half) and simmer over medium-low heat about 30 minutes. Mix in lentils and add bouillon and chili pepper and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve.