Cotechino (Pork sausage) in a pastry crust

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PRESENTATION

Cotechino (Pork sausage) in a pastry crust

No New Year’s dinner is complete without cotechino and lentils! There are those who eat it because they are superstitious, those who do it out of tradition, and those who simply appreciate its timeless taste! For this reason, we have experimented with many delicious variations of recipes with cotechino (pork sausage) in a crust. Three layers with different consistencies to be discovered at the first cut: on the outside a crunchy puff pastry, followed by a velvety lentil cream that tastefully envelops the last layer, the soft heart of cotechino. Have fun decorating your cotechino in a crust with Christmas motifs, and it will create for sure a festive atmosphere at your table! 

INGREDIENTS

Puff pastry 8 oz (230 g)
Precooked cotechino 1 lb (500 g)
Lentils ⅔ cup (150 g)
Carrots 1
Onions 1
Celery 1 rib
Rosemary 2 sprigs
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp
Butter 1 spoonful
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Vegetable broth to taste
For brushing the pastry
Heavy cream to taste
Egg yolks 1
Preparation

How to prepare Cotechino (Pork sausage) in a pastry crust

To make cotechino in a pastry crust, first prepare the vegetable broth that will be used to cook the lentil cream. Rinse the lentils, boil them in water for about twenty minutes and drain before using them in the recipe. Alternatively, you can use precooked ones. Cook the cotechino in boiling water for 10 minutes or for the time indicated on the package 1. After this time, drain the cotechino 2 and place it in cold water to avoid overcooking. Remove it from the wrapping 3 and let it cool.

Place the carrot, celery, onion and rosemary into the bowl of a mixer (alternatively, you can add the rosemary in the pan) 4. Finely chop the vegetables with a few turns of the blades 5. Now heat the oil and butter in the pan 6.

Add the chopped vegetable mixture to the pan 7 and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Pour in the lentils 8 seasoned with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 15 minutes with a little broth 9, adjust the amount according to the consistency of the lentils.

The lentils must be very dry 10. Transfer them into the mixer 11 and blend them to obtain a puree 12. Alternatively, you can also use a hand blender.

Roll out the puff pastry on a board, spread a couple of tablespoons of lentil cream in the center 13, place the cotechino 14 in the center and cover it entirely with the rest of the cream 15.

Now fold the two flaps of the pastry on the cotechino to wrap it 16. Roll the ends 17 like a candy wrapper to seal the roll well 18.

Cut away the excess dough 19, roll it out with a rolling pin and use it to make decorations: we have chosen stars of different sizes 20 21.

Place the stars on the pastry 22, brush the surface with a mixture of yolk and cream 23 and bake in a static oven preheated to 355° F (180° C) for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the cotechino from the oven and let it cool 10 minutes before cutting it 24.

Storage

It is advisable to eat the cotechino in a crust immediately. If you prefer, you can store it in the refrigerator, however, the pastry may absorb moisture, become soft and lose its crispness. If necessary, you can cook the lentils and cotechino in advance.

Tips

As an alternative to lentils, you can use a cream made with blended pan-fried spinach to cover the cotechino!