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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Felice Anno Nuovo! And a Vasilopita update...

Time to fulfill the Italian side with this NYD tradition...since lentils resemble little coins they're considered good luck to eat at the start of the year.  I make this dish often throughout the year - it's a quick and easy one - and boy am I happy about that today, considering I feel like crap.  This almost-42-year-old girl just can't hang anymore!  Had a blast though :)  Frank and I seriously needed a good night out with great friends...and that we had.

I'll spare you a picture of what we look like today.

Oh, and as for the Vasilopita, it was delicious!  Everyone loved it.  We cut it this morning and the winner was...Dad!  Considering he'll be going through his second kidney transplant in a few months (my Mom was the first donor, and my sister will donate this time) he could certainly use all the luck he can get.

So...same recipe next year, but with the right pan.  And now, the lentils.

Lentils with Pasta

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup lentils, rinsed
12 baby carrots (approximately), chopped (or a few large carrots - peel them first)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound pasta, cooked al dente (Frank prefers broken spaghetti...I use elbows a lot too)
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
Grated cheese (pecorino romano is our usual)

Combine the lentils with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add carrots and simmer for another 5-7 minutes.

While lentils are cooking, heat a dutch oven and add EVOO, onion, garlic and thyme.  Cook on medium heat until they are soft.  Add lentils and carrots (do not drain!), along with salt and pepper, and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.  Add pasta, stir together and cook a few more minutes, or until liquid is completely reduced.

Toss with parsley and cheese and serve.

Serves 4.

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At January 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Aunt Maria said...

So funny, Melissa...I'm making this lentil dish tomorrow!!! And, thanks for reminding me of Greek Mary...I picked up many a dish from her place. Congrats on the cake tasting good and I am so happy your father got the coin!!! It's going to a great year! Love you!

At January 1, 2011 at 9:54 PM , Blogger Ann said...

Sounds delish, Melissa! I'm glad your dad got the coin. I hope he has a good year. Thanks for introducing us to your traditions.


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