In Morocco, a hostess will serve lentils to let houseguests know they’ve overstayed their welcome. Honoring the Italian tradition, I made them to ring in the new year!
In Italy, many will eat lentils with cotechino, a fatty cut of pork. Folklore prescribes New Year’s lentils to increase wealth. Put a few dried lentils in your champagne flute, toast the new year, and wrap the lentils in a tiny tin foil packet, placed in your coin purse … by the next new year, you’ll be wealthier! When I tried it as an impoverished grad student, it worked like a charm. 🙂 Let me know if it works for you.
Saute chopped onions, carrots and celery in olive oil until soft.
Add abundant chopped parsley and spices of choice. I used cumin, paprika, salt and pepper this time.
Add chopped tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes or so.
Add lentils and water or broth to cover, and cook for an hour or so, until lentils are cooked, but not busted open.
Serve with bread.
To honor my guests, I made challah, a Jewish bread eaten on Shabbat (the Sabbath) and holidays: