Lentils and cotechino sausage

Lentils with cotechino sausage: a classic dish of the Italian holiday season, specifically that of New Year, eaten at midnight on 31 December or during lunch on 1 January on account of its auspicious symbolism: of the lentils, in particular, it is said that each represents a coin - the more you eat, the more you will earn in the New Year! A lovely, steaming hot dish, rich and substantial. It’s fun to cook together with friends while waiting to toast in the New Year. It can act as a meal in itself, especially as the first of the year when one is not so hungry, but it can also serve as part of a larger feast. It is traditionally eaten throughout Italy but has its origins in Emilia Romagna. So don’t miss out on the chance to gorge yourselves on lentil and cotechino sausage! Follow our recipe step-by-step and you will get the perfect result, not to mention the admiration of your guests.

Ingredients

  • cotechino sausage 600 grams
  • lentils 400 grams
  • celery 40 grams
  • celeriac 20 grams
  • carrots 30 grams
  • onions 30 grams
  • tomato passata 100 millilitres
  • pepper
  • salt
  • chilli
Information
90 minutes Total time
90 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

Make the lentils by frying together the chopped celery, carrot, onion and celeriac. Once softened, add a dash of white wine, let it evaporate, then add the lentils and enough hot water to cover. Add 2 pinches of salt, some ground pepper, sugar and a pinch of chilli powder. Prepare the sausage as follows: pierce on both sides with a toothpick and then submerge in warm water and bring to a boil. Cook for an hour and a half. In the meantime, cook the lentils for about 20 minutes, adding more water if it dries out. When the sausage is ready, remove it from the water and cut into 1cm thick slices and serve with the lentils.

Tips
If you have purchased unpackaged lentils, wash them carefully to eliminate any impurities. If they were bought in sealed bags, check that there are no larvae or parasites, where they are from and the date of collection. If they are canned, verify that the tin is not dented or swollen: it could be a sign of the formation of harmful micro-organisms. We also advise you not to overcook the cotechino sausage so as not to make it too hard and dark.
Trivia
The lentil may be the most ancient cultivated legume, dating back to 7000 BC. Since then it became the staple food of the poor amongst Greeks and Romans. One can find evidence on the existence and relevance of the lentil since the biblical story of Esau. The most prized variety of lentil is the Castelluccio.

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