Reprinted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made into Pie,” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017)
This soulful one-pot meal can be pulled together in less than an hour, but it eats like a braise that cooked all day. The sausages plump and become tender as they cook slowly along with the creamy sweetpotatoes and lentils. Pair with a Pinot Gris, and you have a meal fit for company.
Braised Sausage, Lentils, and White Sweetpotatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork or chicken Italian sausage (4 or 5 links), preferably a mix of spicy and sweet
1 large onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Pinch of dried red chile flakes (optional)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 large yellow/white-fleshed sweetpotato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken broth
Kosher or fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Heat the olive oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning with tongs to color evenly, until browned all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the sausages to a plate and add the onion and garlic to the pot. Stir to coat in the fat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onion and garlic until they are limp and pick up a bit of color, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and chile flakes, if using, working the paste into the onions and garlic until the oil in the pan is terra-cotta colored, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the white wine into the pot and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Add the lentils, sweetpotato, rosemary, and bay leaf. Snuggle the sausages into the pot. Pour the broth over everything and season lightly with salt. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover and slide the pot into the oven. Braise until the sausages are tender, the lentils and sweetpotatoes are cooked through, and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Tip: You can cook this dish a day ahead, let it cool, and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to eat, rewarm it gently on the stove.
Copyright © 2017 by Mary-Frances Heck. Photograph by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.