I love one-pan dishes! This dish is made in the oven using one baking dish. It was also easy to prepare. 🙂 I modified the recipe due to personal preference- and to incorporate ingredients that I had readily available. I included all of the options in the recipe below.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. I modified the proportions and oven temperature, used celery instead of fennel, and added carrots. I also substituted sweet Italian pork sausage for hot sausage and green lentils for brown lentils. The vinegar was essential to the finished dish.
Yield: Serves 6
- 4 celery stalks, diced or 1 fennel bulb, cored, cut into 1/2-inch wedges through the root, plus 1/4 cup fresh fennel fronds
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds bulk hot or sweet Italian pork sausage (or fresh Italian sausages, casings removed)(or a combination)
- 1 egg
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups green or brown lentils
- 4 to 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, plus more for serving
- Heat the oven to 425°, preferably on convection.
- In a 9×13-inch baking pan or baking dish, gently toss the celery and carrots (or fennel wedges) with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (I used a ceramic baking dish.)
- Roast until vegetables are golden brown underneath, about 10 minutes for fennel or up to 20 minutes for carrots and celery. (Fennel will not be tender at this point.)
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use your hands or a spoon to mix the sausage with the egg until combined. Roll the mixture into 16 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs.
- Add the chicken stock, lentils, garlic and rosemary to the roasted vegetables. Stir to combine, then season with 3/4 teaspoon salt.
- Place the meatballs in the lentil mixture, drizzle the meatballs with olive oil, then roast until the meatballs are browned on top and lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Discard the rosemary sprig, then stir in the vinegar, parsley leaves and fennel fronds, if using (reserve a few fronds for garnishing, if desired). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the lentils and any braising liquid onto shallow bowls and top with the meatballs.
- Garnish with additional parsley leaves and fennel fronds, if desired.