Very similar to the famous Castelluccio Lentils.|
Like all lentils, they're really healthy - a great source of protein and fiber - and a great winter ingredient. They retain their shape when cooked, and have a wonderful, nutty, earthy flavor. They need no presoaking, only simmering in liquid for about 30 minutes - a light stock is good, water is fine. Then, when still warm, toss with the flavors you want them to absorb: they'll drink up the perfumes of herbs and spices, or aromatics such as garlic or celery leaves, to create an immensely comforting, satisfying result.
In Italy they are often cooked with pork, absorbing the meat's flavors while balancing its richness.
About half the size of a regular Lentil.