With Bonfire Night around the corner and UK Sausage Week starting next week as well, I thought I would share with you one of my favourite sausage casseroles. This Sausage & Lentil Casserole with Cavolo Nero is a proper family favourite which is full to the brim with the good stuff.
I won't lie, my kids do play "hook a duck" with cavolo nero which then ends up on the side of their plates. However, with the amount of other veg in this casserole and lentils, which they love, I still feel pretty smug when they polish their plates clean.
If you happen to follow my blog, you must know by now that I like using odds and sods from my fridge and cupboards to make our family meals. I love turning ingredients which would otherwise end up in the bin into something delicious. That's how I started using up broccoli stalks and now they are my staple when it comes to soups, stews and casseroles as much as onions, carrots and celery are for most people. If you have never tried them, do give them a go. You won't know they are there but they will bulk up your dish with goodness for sure.
You might want to consider making your own chicken stock to use here. It really couldn't be easier and you can have a nice stash in your freezer to take out and use whenever you need. Check out my guide on How To Make Chicken Stock in Instant Pot (with instructions for hob/stovetop users too)!
Cavolo Nero is a wonderful, dark green, leafy cabbage-like veg from Tuscany. It can be easily substituted with kale or even shredded cabbage, whichever you prefer or can get your hands on. I usually take the leaves off the woody stalk which I then tend to add (finely chopped) just as I do my broccoli stalks to other stews, soups or casseroles. In fact you can use it in this stew as well and throw it in at the beginning with all the other veg. I used mine in different dish on this occasion.
Another little tip I got for you today would be to NEVER throw away the rind from your parmesan cheese. I keep a small bag full of them in the fridge, ready to use in my cooking (they keep really well for months but you can also freeze them). If you have one saved, throw it in this casserole when adding the stock for some extra flavour. This clever flavour enhancer can be added to any soup, stew casserole, and risotto. Don't forget to fish it out before serving though. 🙂
Sausage & Lentil Casserole with Cavolo Nero
- 2 slices smoked back bacon roughly chopped
- 6-8 pork sausages
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 1 or 2 broccoli leftover broccoli stalks if you have any (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 300 g green lentils well rinsed in cold water
- 1 ltr hot chicken or vegetable stock from cube is fine
- 250 g passata
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 200 g cavolo nero or standard kale
- fresh parsley
- oli salt, pepper
- Finely chop your veggies in a food processor or by hand and put to one side.
- Take cavolo nero leaves off the stalks and roughly chop/slice.
- Heat tablespoon of oil in a heavy duty casserole pot and fry chopped bacon pieces and sausages until nice and brown. Take sausages out onto a plate.
- Add all your chopped veggies to the bacon and fry, stirring frequently until they start to soften, approx 5 min.
- Add lentils, thyme, vinegar, passata and stock and stir well. Season to taste. Add sausages and cavolo nero or kale.
- Bring to boil and simmer, covered until lentils are tender (approx 45 min) stirring occasionally. You might have to add splash of water if they get too dry.
- Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley and some crusty bread.
Pin It For Later!
I’m linking my Sausage & Lentil Casserole with Cavolo Nero with the following pages:
Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice
Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Vicki at Honest Mum Blog
Simple and in Season hosted by Katie at Feeding Boys