and a small dinner menu!
½ Lb Lentils
2 Sprigs of Rosemary – optional
3 Cloves Garlic -peeled
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Broth – Vegetable or chicken
Salt and Pepper and Garlic Powder – to taste
A Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes – for warmth, optional
Soak the lentils for I hour in cold water. Rinse and drain well two times. Place in a 2-quart pot and cover with cold water. Add the rosemary, if using, together with the garlic cloves. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain and discard the rosemary. Mince the garlic and add to heated olive oil in the pot and cook until you can smell the aroma but, be careful not to burn. Cook over low heat. Add the lentils back to the pot, with the broth, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a little garlic powder (if you love garlic, like I do). Stir well and add 1 tbs tomato paste, also optional. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed about 20 minutes, adding more broth along the way if needed. Adjust the seasonings.
If you are serving the lentils with cotechino, while the cotechino is cooking, exchange some of that water to the lentils for a little more flavor.
Note: In traditional Italian families, as in Italy, Lentils are usually on the menu on either
New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Lentils are perceived as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. While the main accompaniment with lentils is usually Cotechino, many Italian families have their own favored dishes. But if you haven’t tried it with cotechino you are missing out on a delicious meal.
We boil a cotechino in water, adding cabbage edges and small peeled potatoes. The cotechino is sliced and served on a platter. The potatoes and cabbage in a large bowl. We manage a cabbage wedge and a potto per-person. We have a variety of mustards to accompany the meal. Traditionally we will have a gathering of friends ending with dessert and a sip from the Grolla.
Sending Best Wishes to you for a Happy and Healthy 2023!