This lentil stew is a tasty and comforting recipe that was always present on our dinner table on New Year’s Eve. Lentils are usually served on New Year’s Eve as they are thought to bring good luck and money, regardless if they do, they are delicious. Traditionally my mom made this recipe with bacon. Instead, I omit bacon, therefore it is a perfect vegetarian dish.
Nutty and earthy flavor, lentils have nutritional value (see Insalata di Lenticchie). You can serve this dish with cotechino, the Italian sausage, that is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve too.
LENTICCHIE IN UMIDO (LENTIL STEW)
310 g (11 oz) dry lentils
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stem, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
120 ml (1/2 cup) white wine
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Make the “soffritto”. In a saucepan on medium-low heat sautee onion, garlic, carrot and celery in olive oil for a few minutes. Rinse lentils under running water. It is even better to soak the lentils in cold water overnight. The cooking time will be shorter (about 15 minutes). Add lentils to the “soffritto” and cook on high heat for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add wine and let it evaporate. Add tomato sauce, bay leaves and cover with plenty of broth
2. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for about 18-20 minutes until lentils are tender (the exact cooking time will be indicated on the package and depends on the soaking time). Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. -Paola