Cotechino con lenticchie is an Italian tradition for New Year’s Eve. (In English: cotechino and lentils). Lentils (which are shaped like coins) are said to bring wealth, and cotechino brings health. Whether you believe in this or not, it’s an incredibly delicious dish, so why not start the new year with this Italian custom?
I recently shared my Nonna Chiarina’s recipe for cotechino.
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In spite of my initial reservations, I went with my gut (no pun intended) and it was so well-received! I was absolutely delighted that every single comment was positive!
I probably don’t have to explain that most people in the US aren’t as open to nose to tail recipes as many other citizens of other countries. Given this fact, I was rather afraid to share it–decided against it–and then convinced myself that my site should be authentically “me”, and published it! It’s a classic Mediterranean diet dish and so healthy and nutritious.
After all, cotechino is one of my most favorite foods, and using more or all parts of animals that are slaughtered for meat is a very good thing. So why should I not be proud to share such a recipe, especially when it was my Italian grandmother’s recipe? Not to mention helping those who are searching online for such a recipe.
What is Cotechino con Lenticchie? (Cotechino and Lentils)
Cotechino con lenticchie, as it’s called in Italian, is simply this nose to tail sausage, which can be easily purchased in Italy, served on, or with, cooked brown lentils (a mediterranean diet staple). It’s a bit more difficult to find a good cotechino in the US, but you can definitely find it online, or just make my cotechino recipe. Here’s a cotechino you can buy on Amazon, but I don’t like the fact that it contains sugar and sodium nitrite.
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not the prettiest dish in the world, but please don’t let that put you off trying this dish–it’s absolutely delicious. And as I noted above, Italian tradition is to eat this dish on New Year’s Eve to welcome in the new year with a promise of good health and wealth!
CONFESSION: I made the dish in the photos just before leaving for a trip for Christmas, and ran out of daylight to shoot the photos on the day I made it so I reheated the lentils the next day. The cooked lentils aren’t as mushy and soft if you eat them right after making the dish. Cotechino and lentils still tastes fantastic when reheated the next day, but it looks worse, sadly! When I make it again, I will reshoot the dish, and you’ll see what I mean.
Cotechino con Lenticchie
(Cotechino with Lentils Recipe)
my family’s recipe serves 2
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
- cotechino sausage
- brown lentils
- black pepper (optional)
- extra virgin olive oil
How to Make Cotechino with Lentils
1.Sort and rinse the lentils, removing any dirt or bad quality beans. Place lentils in a large pot and add the water.
2. Dice the onion, and chop the celery then add to the pot, and turn the burner to medium high. Stir and bring the contents to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer while stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the casing on the cotechino if it is removable.
4. Add the cotechino and continue to simmer for about 15 to 20 more minutes, or until the lentils are cooked. If using a purchased cotechino, you can cook/heat the sausage as directed, then serve on the lentils.
5. Taste and season as desired, remove the cotechino, and cut into slices.
Ladle the lentils onto a serving dish (or directly onto plates), drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with cotechino slices and serve hot, with crusty bread.
Cotechino con Lenticchie for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year (Cotechino and Lentils)
A traditional Northern Italian dish served on New Year's Eve for good luck in the coming year, consisting of sausage and lentils.
- 8 oz (225 g or 2 or 3 homemade) cotechino sausages
- 8 oz (225 g) 1/2 bag brown lentils
- 18 oz (½ liter) water
- 1 medium onion
- 1 stalk celery, preferably with leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper (optional)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or more
- Sort and rinse the lentils, removing any dirt or bad quality beans.
- Place lentils in a large pot and add the water.
- Dice the onion, and chop the celery, then add to the pot, and turn the burner to medium high. Stir and bring the contents to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer while stirring occasionally.
- Remove the casing on the cotechino if it is removable.
- Add the cotechino and continue to simmer for about 15 to 20 more minutes, or until the lentils are cooked. See notes below.
- Taste and season as desired, remove the cotechino, and cut into slices.
- Ladle the lentils onto a serving dish (or directly onto plates), drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with cotechino slices and serve.
If you have purchased a cotechino, you can heat/cook it as directed and then serve it with the lentils.
You can add a carrot to the onion and celery, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 633Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1553mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 11gSugar: 6gProtein: 25g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
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I leave the casing on, pocking numerous holes through it. Then slice after the soup is finished.
Also, I use stock instead of water, with a bay leaf
Delicious! We use stock if making lentil soup. You can’t go wrong no matter how you cook lentils! So good! :)
I just recently learned about lentils as a NY tradition for prosperity. The recipe looks great!
Delicious, Martin! Try my 5 minute lentil soup (so easy)!
I could be all about that sausage! I’m not sure about the lentils, but I’d give them a try.
Too funny! Most people would be the other way around! Love it!
Fantastic! It probably won’t come as a surprise that we had cotechino and lentils for NYE. And made a tasty ragù for pasta with the leftover cotechino. Happy New Year, Christina!
Of course you did, Frank! Bravo and buon anno anche a te! :)
Wow, this looks great. Cotechino is just now coming to Tucson —ma new boutique shop opened and all they sell are high-end cured meats, poultry, and fish — I will be a little late in getting my good luck but I know this will happen soon. Thanks for the recipe!
I can’t believe you got stuck in an elevator. Sheesh. There are a lot of crazy stories these days. Glad I didn’t have to travel during the holidays. I’ve never heard of Cotechino, so I’m really excited to find some! And anything with lentils is fabulous. Here’s to the happiest of New Years!
Happy new year to you, too, Mimi!