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New Year's Meal: A Recipe for Good Luck

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Tonight is the big night and many new year's revelers will be hitting South Beach and spend obscene amounts of money on all access club passes and overpriced meals. If your purse strings are tied, you can follow tradition (or superstition) and stick to some tried and true food rituals meant to bring you luck for next year. With enough luck, you may afford an obscene night on the town next year.

You've probably heard of eating 12 grapes or a bowl of noodles at the stroke of midnight, but why stop at that? Set your sites towards making 2011 a kick ass year and take with you all the luck you can get. Here's a menu filled with luck, wealth and abundance.

Start the party off with some pomegranate mojitos. This purple fruit is associated with abundance and fertility in the Mediterranean, and throwing back a few of these should therefore ensure you lots of action between the sheets next year.

For dinner, placate the Italians and Spaniards in the group by serving

up some lentils and pork for a double dose of luck. Then, as the clock approaches midnight, get those grapes out and stuff 12 in your mouth because according to Cuban tradition, you'll need one for each month of the year.

To finish off the meal, do like the Dutch and dive into some doughnuts. The ring-shaped sweetness symbolizes "coming full circle" and should be your first bite in the New Year.

Happy New Year!

Italian Pork Sausages with Lentils

4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 3/4 cups dried Puy lentils
1 garlic clove, skin removed
8 Italian pork sausage links
1/3 cup, plus 1 tbsp red wine
1/4 cup water
flat leaf parsley

Directions: To cook the lentils, put 3 tbsp of the oil in a pan with a lid on heat and bring to a simmer. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with salt and over over medium heat until soft. (5 minutes). Add the lentils, stir well and cover generously with cold water.
Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer gently for half an hour or until cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Put a heavy based frying pan on the burner, add 2 tbsp oil and the garlic clove. Cook for a few minutes then add and brown the sausages. When the sausages are browned on both sides, throw in the wine and let it bubble up. Cover the pan with lid and cook for about 15 minutes. Using a fork, mash the now soft garlic into the sauce and taste for seasoning.
Remove the lentils to a shallow bowl or dish then cover with the sausages and their garlicky, winey gravy. Sprinkle over some flat leaf parsley.

From Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson

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