Cotechino with Lentils

Served across Italy on New Year’s Eve, cotechino sausage and lentils is a succulent dish believed to bring good luck to those who eat it in the year to come.

Ingredients

Servings 4

  • 1 Cotechino sausage, about 14 oz
  • 2 tablespoons Academia Barilla IGP Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 12 oz dried lentils, or 24 oz jarred lentils
  • 3 tablespoons canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the lentils, then soak them in a bowl full of cold water for 12 hours. If you prefer, you can used jarred lentils.

Using the tip of a skewer or a fork, poke holes in the cotechino. Place it in a pot of cold, unsalted water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook over low heat for 2 hours.

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion. Place a frying pan over medium heat. Add a little olive oil and, once hot, add the onion, bay leaf and cloves. Once the onion is translucent, but not yet brown, add the lentils, drained of their soaking water and rinsed. Saute for 30 seconds, then add the tomato. Mix well and cover with broth.

Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft, but aren’t falling apart. Season with salt and pepper.

Once done cooking, remove the cotechino and cut off any kitchen twine. Cut into ½ to 1 inch slices. Remove the casing and serve with the lentils. If you like, you can grind extra pepper on top.

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