A popular sausage from northern Italy, cotechino adds a special flavor to a wide range of classic Italian dishes. Considered one of the best in the region, cotechino (also called Zampone) is made from top quality pork that has been cured in natural seasonings for up to six months. Read More
What is cotechino?
This boiled Italian sausage originated in Modena in the early 1500s, and its production soon spread throughout all of Emilia-Romagna and into neighboring Lombardy and Veneto. Typically served with lentils as a celebratory dish at New Year’s, cotechino is now enjoyed year-round in Italy and by fans of Italian cuisine around the world.
The reason lentils are the grain of choice for this quintessential New Year’s dish is because they are shaped like coins, which reminds people of money and good fortune. Seasoned with a special combination of spices and herbs, this ancient grain also makes a hearty base for slices of rich and briny cotechino.
How to prepare cotechino
On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Italians enjoy an elaborate feast similar to Christmas dinner with a table full of traditional dishes. A must-have for the dinner table is cotechino Italian sausage with lentils, a wholesome and tasty stew that is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune in the new year.
Like many Italian style types of meat, cotechino sausage is also made from pork and then seasoned with Italian herbs and spices. But what sets this premium sausage apart is the addition of the skin or rind into the meat. Unlike salami and other cold cuts that have gone through a curing process, cotechino must be cooked before serving. Chefs, Italian grandmothers, and Italophile gourmands typically like to boil or fry the cotechino, then slice into small cylinders and serve over lentils.
A starchy and substantial foundation, the lentils help to soften the flavor of salty cotechino for a well-balanced bite. Like many traditional soups, this Italian favorite is also seasoned with onions, bay leaves, and cloves, the holy trinity of flavors that give depth to basic lentils. Similar to many Italian dishes, canned tomatoes are also added to the stew, which rounds out the flavors with a touch of bright acidity.
Nonna’s Tip: Wait until the lentils are cooked to add salt. This ensures that the lentils are soft and tender instead of hard and grainy.
Where to buy the best cotechino sausage?
If you’re looking for where to buy cotechino online, you’ve come to the right place. At Supermarket Italy, we feature an exclusive selection of top cotechino brands like Levoni, Beretta, and Golfera. Shop our collection of gourmet cured meats today and experience the flavors of Italy in every meal!