POTATO, PANCETTA, LENTILS

Tasty, healthy, easy. These three so often have to apologise for eachother but no need. As a Volvo driver I can appreciate the quiet practicality of lentils and wonder at their malignment from burger munchin’ Falcon drivers. This is from a great recently purchased book by Loukie Werle on Italian cooking “Splendido” that had been popped into the discount. Undeservedly so as its only crime seems to have been a lack of pictures and a lack of catchy character pushing on her own behalf that would have helped her stick in my mind as firmly in my head as my favourite soap star of Big Brother contestant. This is a POP but takes some time stirring so I passed the time with a few snorts of sherry.

Diced up a carrot, an onion, a small carrot, some celery finely and sauteed in a casserole dish in olive oil with a couple of sprigs of thyme and some finely diced pancetta for 10 minutes. Added a cup of brown lentils, stirred, seasoned and added enough water to cover by a centimetre. It took me about 30 minutes to get the lentils cooked with the lid on and another half an hour to cook the four diced potatoes with the lid off in an additional cup of chicken stock. As an addition I fished an Italian sausage out of the freezer and fried it up, mixing it in with the dish.

Ate it with some tasty pumpkin and herb damper from the markets with some olive oil on it.