Recipe by Lena
"This hearty and satisfying dish is traditionally eaten on New Year's to bring abundance and fortune. Cotechino is an Italian fresh pork sausage. It is creamy and delicate in flavor. It is sometimes sold precooked or boiled but the best ones are fresh. If you can't find cotechino a high quality fresh pork sausage flavored with nutmeg, cloves and pepper will suffice."
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whole black peppercorns
dry green lentils
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley, chopped
We loved this. I made it on New Year’s Day; I didn’t plan ahead so couldn’t get a hold of Cotecchino. I used a fresh bratwurst (not as crazy as it sounds: many Northern Italian recipes have a Tyrolean influence) flavored with nutmeg. Oh, and I used half water, half chicken broth to cook the lentils. Served it with lacinato kale (black kale) sautéed with garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovy paste, a splash of chicken broth and a splash of wine. Delicious! Lucky coins and folding green money.
Myfamily loves the ingredients for this dish, but we found this too bland for our tastes. In fact, they asked me not to make it again.
Great meal. I served it with some red swiss chard steamed for a second, then cooled, squeezed, chopped & sauteed with some EVOO, garlic, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
I also used broth with the lentils. I would love to know where to get fresh cotechino - all I can find in Chicago is the pre-cooked, and if I use that again, I'm going to take it out of the foil packet and simmer it in a little broth with some chopped carrots, celery and onion for a few minutes - it had a slightly "canned" flavor, not as bright as the cotechino I've had in restaurants. Still it's a darned good meal - quitessential comfort food. We had leftovers steamed over a little broth and served with mashed potatoes and some rapini - my partner who's not a lentil fan like this better.
My husband and I enjoyed this as a wonderful start to the new year! I modified the recipe by creating a soffritto with the carrot, onion (diced instead of chopped), garlic and 4 oz of diced pancetta. I browned the pancetta in a dutch oven, then added the onion, carrot, and garlic, allowing everything to brown and soften. Then I added the liquid (reduced to 5 cups; 2.5 cups of water and 2.5 cups of chicken broth) and seasoned with salt, pepper and the bay leaf, and finally the lentils. It came out well; my goal was to avoid bland lentils and this worked out very well. You can even use the broth from cooking the sausage (italian sausage works well too) to season the lentils.
This is the real deal as found in Italy.
1st time ever made this dish, my company for New Years eve loved this.This dish is fool-proof.
This was surprisingly good - I would never have thought of this combination. I used hot italian sausage and cooked the lentils in half water and half broth and added garlic per the other reviews. The lentils were still a little plain and we had to add salt and pepper at the table. I may cook in all broth next time or season the water/broth.
Salsa is the fresh condiment you can make at home and put on everything.
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