9 Lucky Lentils & Beans for the New Year

Whether in Italy, Brazil, Germany or even the American South, legumes are a traditional and important part of New Year's celebrations around the world. Their small coin-like shapes are thought to be symbolic of money and represent the promise of financial good fortune and prosperity in the new year. We are strong believers that one can never have too much of a good thing, so here are 9 recipes to bring a little more luck to your table.

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Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli

2 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small stalk celery
1 small can chicken broth
1 small can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup ditalini
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Grated Parmesan, to taste

1. In a heavy saucepan cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring until crisp. Add onion and garlic, stirring until onion is soft and transparent. Add celery. Add broth and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl mash 1/3 of the beans, then stir them into the onion mixture along with the remaining whole beans, tomatoes, and oregano. Simmer the soup, covered for 15 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Then remove from heat and let stand, still covered, for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in parsley and top with (lots of!) Parmesan. Feast.

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