Cotechino (Pork sausage) in a pastry crust
- 1 h 20 min
- Kcal 1051
Cotechino with lentils is a typical dish on the Christmas menu and especially on New Year's Eve: tradition has it that eating a portion of cotechino before midnight is a good omen for the New Year.
Just to clarify, let's start by saying that cotechino is completely different from zampone (pig's trotter): in fact, although their content is the same, cotechino is stuffed in a natural pork casing, while the trotter, as the name says, is stuffed in the foot.
Originally, cotechino was a simple dish that farmers used to eat with legume and vegetable soups. A typical product of Modena, a city in the Emilia-Romagna region, cotechino was once prepared exclusively by lardaroli and salsicciari, the formerly called beccai (butchers) who, starting from 1547, gathered in an independent guild. However, cotechino was first mentioned only two hundred years later, in 1745, in an almanac and the first recipe appeared the following year. The importance that cotechino has taken on today is due to the father of Italian cuisine, Pellegrino Artusi, who, in his extensive work, "Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well", speaks of the famous cotechino fasciato.
Today the classic cotechino-lentil combination has been interpreted in many varied ways, from the most rustic to the most refined, such as the millefeuille of cotechino and lentils, without forgetting tasty leftover recipes, such as polenta and cotechino timbale, an original way to use leftover cotechino from the holiday season!
To make cotechino with lentils, first soak the lentils in cold water for 2 hours 1. Drain and rinse them under running water 2. In the meantime, cook the cotechino following the instructions on the package, in our case it should be immersed in cold water and cooked for about 20 minutes from the time water starts boiling 3.
Now proceed with the vegetables: peel the carrots and mince them by cutting them first into strips and then into cubes 4. Do the same with the celery 5, then peel and chop the onion 6.
Pour the olive oil 7 into a pan and heat it. Add the chopped vegetables 8 and sauté them for a couple of minutes. Then add the lentils, previously soaked in cold water 9,
Season with pepper 10, salt and add the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves with kitchen twine 11, facilitating the removal of the herbs after cooking. Cover the lentils with hot vegetable broth 12 and cook for 20 minutes or more depending on the desider consistency, adding more broth if necessary.
Once the lentils are cooked, remove the herbs 13 and keep the lentils warm 14. In the meantime cook the cotechino, drain it and unwrap it 15.
Transfer it to a cutting board taking care not to burn your fingers. Peel it 16 and slice it 17. Serve the plate of cotechino with the lentils hot 18.
Once cooled, cotechino can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
If you want an extra treat, serve it with thick and creamy mashed potatoes, as the traditionally do in Modena: it will be unforgettable!