One of our stops in New York City was Eataly. It is a wonderful stop for a food fanatic like me – it houses multiple restaurants, a wine bar, and an Italian specialty market, with a butcher, fishmonger, and cheesemonger. I can entertain myself for hours, wandering around the market section, drooling over the steaks and seafood on display, fingering the kitchen tools, and…grabbing a bag of Umbrian lentils. (And anorange peppermill. I had to.)
Umbria is famous for its lentils; other than French Lentils du Puy, they are the only lentils I know sold by region, not color. (That is, all the lentils I can buy in Northeastern Ohio are either just “lentils” – brown lentils – or sometimes green and red lentils are available.)
I usually substitute brown lentils when I want to do an Italian style lentil dish, but now I am stocked up. It’s time for Umbian Lentil and Sausage stew – Salsicce e Lenticchie all’Umbriana – the traditional meal from the region.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Umbrian Lentils and SausagePrint
Pressure Cooker Umbrian Lentils and Sausage recipe. Salsicce e Lenticchie, Umbrian sausage and lentil stew, in my Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 inch rings
- 500g (1 pound) Umbrian lentils (or brown lentils)
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (or dried basil)
- 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes with juices
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the lentils: Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Let stand to drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Brown the sausage: Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat until the oil starts shimmering. (Use browning mode or sauté mode adjusted to high in an electric pressure cooker). Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy around on the edges, about 5 minutes. Move the sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible.
- Sauté the aromatics: Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pressure cooker. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Sauté until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes, scraping any browned bits of sausage from the bottom of the pot into the onions.
- Pressure cook the lentils for 10 minutes with a natural pressure release: Add the lentils to the pot and stir into the aromatics, scraping the bottom of the pot again to loosen any browned onions. Stir in the browned sausage and any juices in the bowl. Stir in the can of tomatoes. Pour in the 6 cups of water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes in an electric PC or 8 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes.
- Season and serve: Remove the lid from the pressure cooker. Taste the lentils for doneness and seasoning. If the lentils aren’t soft enough, simmer for another five minutes or so (don’t bring back to pressure – use simmer mode on the cooker or simmer on the stovetop). Add salt and pepper as necessary – when I use water or homemade chicken stock, I usually add another half teaspoon of sea salt. Serve.
- For a vegetarian version of this recipe, skip the sausage, and cook the onions a longer, to get a little browning around the edges.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Pressure Cooker Umbrian Lentils and Sausage, Instant Pot Umbrian Lentils and Sausage
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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