Potato nests with lentils and cotechino



Potato nests with lentils and cotechino are a delicious and alternative way of serving the classic New Year's Eve dish. They are a feast for the palate and for the eye, served as a second course or appetizing starter that will impress friends as you see the new year in together!

Potato nests are prepared with the same mixture as the recipe for duchess potatoes, filled with lentils and finely diced cotechino.


Ingredients for the potato nests
Potatoes 2 lbs (1 kg)
Butter 1 stick (60 g) - melted
Egg yolks 3
Fine salt to taste
Nutmeg to taste
Grana Padano PDO cheese ½ cup (60 g) - (for grating)
For the lentils
Dried lentils 2 cups (300 g)
Shallot 1 - medium
Carrots 1 - medium
Celery 1 stalk
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp (30 g)
Rosemary 2 sprigs
Bay leaves 3 leaves
Vegetable broth 2 cups (500 g)
For the cotechino
Cotechino 0.66 lb (300 g)
Carrots 1 - medium
Celery 1 stalk

How to prepare Potato nests with lentils and cotechino

To prepare potato nests with lentils and cotechino, start with the pulses. Place the lentils in a large bowl and cover with abundant water 1. Leave to soak for two hours, change the water a couple of times so that they soften thoroughly, you can cover them with plastic wrap 2. Once the two hours are up, drain the pulses 3.

Finely chop the onion, the celery stick, carrot and shallot 4 to obtain a mixture you'll pan fry in a generous drizzle of oil 5. Stir carefully 6.

Now add the drained lentils 7, together with the bay leaves and rosemary. Add the vegetable stock a little at a time until the lentils are covered 8. Cook for around 40 minutes 9. Once cooked, leave them to one side.

Now cook the cotechino. Place the meat in a large saucepan and cover with water, then add a sliced celery stick and carrot 10. While cooking, pierce the cotechino with a skewer to release the fat 11. Put the lid on the saucepan and leave to cook on a medium flame for around two hours 12. When the cotechino is ready, drain and leave it to one side.

While the lentils and cotechino are cooking, you can prepare the nests. Boil the potatoes in some previously salted water 13. Once cooked, peel them using a knife 14, place them inside a potato masher 15 and mash them all 16.

Add two eggs to the puree 17 and stir coarsely. Add the slightly cooled melted butter 18,

then the cheese 19 and the grated nutmeg 20. Add salt and pepper to taste and thoroughly mix the ingredients together with a spatula, to obtain a smooth and lump-free mixture 21.

Now fill a star-tipped pastry bag with the potato puree 22 and leave to one side for a moment; butter and line an oven tray with parchment paper and trace 4 circles far apart on the paper, each 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, using a shaping ring mold (or a glass, the important thing is that they are of equal diameter) 23. Use the pastry bag to create the nests, tracing the bottom and then going over the sides twice to create a nest shape 24. Bake the nests for 20-25 minutes in a conventional oven preheated to 390°F (200°C) (if with convection oven, bake for 10-15 minutes at 355°F (180°C)), until the surface becomes nice and golden.

When the nests are done, they will be ready to be filled while still hot. Place the drained cotechino on a cutting board and cut into slices that are around 0.4 inches (1 cm) thick 25, remove the skin using a knife 26, and finely dice 27.

Fill each nest with the lentils (you can gently heat them) 28 and then with the diced cotechino 29. Your potato nests with lentils and cotechino are ready 30 and should be served nice and hot.


You can store potato nests with lentils and cotechino in the refrigerator, in a sealed container for 2-3 days.

Freezing is not recommended.


If you prefer a "crunchy" effect, you can pan-fry them!