It’s New Year’s Eve and it’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. In true Italian tradition I wanted to finish up the year with a lentil recipe. Italians around the world eat lentils or “lenticchie” as they are called in Italian, on New Year’s Day. Italians believe that lentils bring good luck and prosperity. Traditionally, my family eats Lentil Soup on New Year’s, but I really wanted to share this recipe for “Polpette Lenticchie Fritte” a.k.a Lentil Fritters. Hopefully fried up like a meatball these yummy fritters will still bring us lots of luck!
These are not difficult to make at all, but I do recommend fully draining the lentils of all liquid when done and refrigerating them for at least a few hours before beginning to prepare them. You want the mixture to be on the thicker side so don’t be shy with the grated cheese and breadcrumbs.
In keeping with true Italian tradition I thought it would be fun to share this recipe in handfuls (not cups). But for the record my handfuls measure out to about a 1/4 cup. Happy Cooking and Boun anno nuovo (Happy New Year!)
1 1/2cupscooked lentilscooled and refrigerate for a few hours
2handfuls of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 1/2handfuls of breadcrumbs
2tablespoonsbasic tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste *
Olive oil for Frying
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Cook 1 cup of lentils and drain thoroughly. This should yield about 1 1/2 cups of cooked lentils. Cool and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Put lentils in food processor and pulse to a chunky consistency. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Form tablespoon size meatballs and then gently flatten with your hands. Cook in a pan with heated olive oil (medium heat). Cook 5-7 minutes on the first side (until golden brown and then 3-4 minutes on the flip side. Drain on paper towels and serve alone or with your favorite sauce.
*use seasoned breadcrumbs for more flavor *if too loose dont be afraid to add more cheese and or breadcrumbs