Cotechino (Pork sausage) with lentils

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PRESENTATION

Cotechino (Pork sausage) with lentils

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 ideas, let's start by saying that cotechino is completely different from zampone: in fact, although the content is the same as the pig's trotter, cotechino is stuffed in 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 soups and minestrone. A typical product of Modena, a city in the Emilia Region, cotechino was once prepared only and exclusively by "lardaroli" and "salsicciari", the former "beccai" (butchers), who gathered in an independent guild only from 1547.
In reality, 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-lentils combination has been interpreted in the most 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 and scenic way to use leftover cotechino from the holidays!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredienti per il cotechino
Precooked Cotechino 12 oz (300 g)
For the lentils
Dried lentils 12 oz (300 g)
Celery 1 rib
Carrots 1 - medium
White onions 1
Extra virgin olive oil ⅓ cup (35 g)
Laurel 3 leaves
Rosemary 2 sprigs
Vegetable broth 1 quart (500 g)
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Cotechino (Pork sausage) with lentils

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 boiling point 3.

Now proceed with the sauté: 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 fry for a couple of minutes. Then pour in the lentils, previously soaked in cold water 9,

season with pepper 10, salt and add the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves tied together with a string 11, this way you will be able to easily remove the herbs after cooking. Cover the lentils with hot vegetable stock 12 and cook for 20 minutes or more depending on the consistency you want, adding stock if necessary.

At the end of cooking, remove the bunch of herbs 13 and keep the cooked lentils warm 14. In the meantime cook the cotechino, drain it, unwrap it 15

and 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.

Storage

Once cooled, cotechino can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Tips

If you want an extra treat, serve it with thick and creamy mashed potatoes, as it is tradition in Modena: it will be unforgettable!