Cotechino is a type of Italian sausage made of pork meat, fat and rind. Seasoned with spices and boiled, this P.G.I. pork sausage of Modena is a staple at New Year's. Every year, slices of cotechino medallions are famously served with lentils to symbolize coins; an auspicious meal meant to bring wealth in the coming months. Cotechino sausage is also often accompanied by mashed potatoes or mostarda.
If you're making it from scratch, cotechino takes hours to boil. Thankfully, the cotechino sausage you'll find at Supermarket Italy from brands such as Levoni and Golfera arrive pre-cooked. All you'll have to do to reheat it for your New Year's feast is boil it for up to 45 minutes. What follows is our recommendation for how to prepare the classic Italian dish of cotechino with lentils.
To prepare the cotechino, you'll need:
- 1 cotechino (about 1 lb)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 stalk celery
- 3 bay leaves
To prepare the lentils, you'll need:
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
- 2 cups lentils
- 4 cups chicken or beef broth (recommended) or water
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 1 stalk celery (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (chopped)
(Note: Lentil to liquid ratios may vary depending on brand so follow directions on packages)
Cooking the cotechino
Use a fork to poke the cotechino. Place the pre-cooked Italian sausage in a pot with in cold water. Add the onion, celery and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the flame and simmer for up to 45 minutes.
Let cool and slice into 1/2 inch thick medallions. Place on top of lentils to serve!
Cooking the lentils
Drizzle olive oil in pot. When hot add onion, carrot, celery and garlic until lightly browned. Add lentils and stir.
Cover with broth and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the flame and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender. Add fresh parsley and remove from heat. You'll have the right consistency if the lentils are neither dry nor soupy. Salt and pepper to taste.