This lentil stew is very pleasant served on its own or with any roasted game birds.
225g/8oz green-brown lentils, such as pardina
6 tbsp olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
200g/7oz carrot, finely chopped
100g/3½oz thinly sliced Serrano ham, finely chopped
1 tbsp pimentón dulce (smoked sweet Spanish paprika)
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned, chopped
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Check over the lentils for any little stones, then rinse in cold water. Tip them into a saucepan, add enough cold water to cover them by 5cm/2in and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat
and leave them to simmer for about 30 minutes or until just tender but still a little al dente. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and set to one side.
Put the olive oil, garlic, onion and carrot in a wide, shallow pan over a medium heat and cook gently for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and just beginning to colour. Add the Serrano ham and fry for another 5-6 minutes.
Stir in the pimentón, tomatoes and wine and simmer for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture cooks down into a thick sauce.
Stir the lentils into the sauce with 150ml/5fl oz of the reserved cooking liquid, the chopped parsley, 1½ teaspoons of salt and some pepper. Simmer for a further 5-6 minutes.
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