This casserole is an old French favorite, it demonstrates simple home-cooking at its best giving a hearty and delicious taste of the traditional French kitchen. It makes a delicious and quick hot meal when served with fresh French bread. This recipe can be adapted for vegetarians by substituting the sausages for beans (white, black or red).
Soak the lentils overnight, drain and put to one side
Heat the oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C, gas 6).
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish, add the onions, garlic and celery and fry gently for 4-5 minutes
Add the bay leaf, thyme, tomatoes and tomato puree and mix together. Cook for 5 minutes
Remove from the heat and add the lentils and red wine if using and stir in well. Add the water just enough to cover. Add the sausages, cover and cook in the oven for around 30 minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley if using
Serve piping hot and enjoy with good company. Bon appetite!
If making large quantities this dish can be frozen. Simply cool completely and spoon portions into a freezer proof container or plastic bag. Small plastic freezer bags are great for keeping 1 size portions for those times when you want something tasty and nutritious but know you will be eating alone. Seal well, label and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Take out as much as required and pit into a saucepan. Defrost for around 4 hours at room temperature. Remove from bag/container, put into a pan and cover. Slowly bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes and stir occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes adding more stock or water and flavoring to taste.
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