Wish Upon A Dish: Umbrian Lentil Stew w/Olive Oil Fried Eggs

March 4, 2011

Umbrian Lentil Stew w/Olive Oil Fried Eggs

I am surprised at how popular this dish is around the blogging world.
This recipe uses the traditional Italian technique of processing the sofrito vegetables and sauting them with the prosciutto.

If you prefer a chunkier stew chop them into a small dice. The rest of the dish requires a risotto-like technique, stirring as the lentils cook until the liquid is absorbed and they are creamy.

Umbrian Lentil Stew w/Olive Oil Fried Eggs
serves 4
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
* 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
* 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
* 1 small celery rib, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 small onion, finely diced
* 1 large garlic clove, minced
* 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
* 1/2 pound Umbrian lentils or green lentils (1 1/4 cups)
* 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 4 large eggs
* 12 arugula leaves
* Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and aged balsamic vinegar, for serving

1. In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil; add the prosciutto and cook over low heat until the fat has rendered.
2. In a food processor, finely chop the carrot and celery. Add the vegetables to the saucepan along with the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir over moderately high heat until shiny, 1 minute. Add the lentils and 2 1/2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the broth has been absorbed, 25 minutes. Add 1 more cup of the broth and continue simmering until absorbed, 10 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and simmer until the lentils are tender and suspended in a creamy sauce, 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a thin film of olive oil. Crack the eggs into the skillet, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny. Spoon the lentils into shallow bowls and top with the eggs and arugula. Grate the cheese over the eggs and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve right away.

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