Lenticchi Del Anno Nuovo (Lentils of the New Year)

In Italy, it is typical for families to serve the following lentil dish when celebrating a New Year. The tradition is that lentils represent wealth and good fortune. Therefore, you will experience financial success in the coming year if you have this dish as part of your New Year’s meal.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. dry lentils
2 Tbls. tomato pure’e
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary (chopped)
2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper (try a blend of different whole peppers and allspice in your grinder!)
2 cups vegetable broth (or stock)

Soak the lentils in cold water for 4 to 5 hours. Drain. Sauté chopped garlic and rosemary in olive oil. Add tomato pure’e. Cover lentils with water after soaking an boil for 20 minutes with the whole garlic cloves. Drain lentils again. Add garlic-rosemary mixture along with tomato pure’e and vegetable broth to lentil. Simmer lentils until soft (about 40 minutes). Remove whole garlic cloves (if you can still fine’em!); mince or mash and return to beans. Salt and pepper to taste.

Lentils are a typical accompaniment to southern-cooked greens or Italian pork dishes.

Buono apetito!

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