Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cotechino e lenticchie, Pork sausage and lentils

A traditional new year's eve midnight dish. Cotechino e lenticchie, Pork sausage and lentils:

Cotechino is a rich Italian pork sausage from Modena.

It contains a lot of fat meats which allow it to be so tender, it really melts in your mouth.
The few slices shown in the pictures come from a medium sized cotechino, not precooked.

Cooking tips: set the cotechino in cold water in a capient soup pot and gently bring it to boil. Then cook for at least 2-2,5 hours. Once cooked gently remove it from the water and slice it not to thin as you want to feel its own texture, I would say half an inch or little less.
Serving suggestion: cotechino is usually served with lentils or mashed potatoes.
I have used green bio swiss lentils and here is how I have prepared them: soak the lentils for an hour in cold water, in a sauce pan heat some extra virgin olive oil and saute half onion and three diced slices of bacon over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the drained lentils, cover them with water add a couple of bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer covered for 1-1,5 hours or until lentils are tender.

Servings 4


a Modena natural cotechino 500, 600 grams or 17-21 ounces, 250 grams or 9 ounces of green lentils (great also are lentils from Castelluccio di Norcia, these lentils are grown in the area of Castelluccio di Norcia in the park of Monti Sibillini, located between the regions of Central Italy, Marche and Umbria, these lentils have very small, round and flat seeds. These lentils are often striped and vary in color between speckled green to faded yellow to light brown. The lentils are sowed in the spring and then in July and August the plants are cut and dried in order to remove the seeds. Castelluccio lentils are quite different than the other varieties available on the market: the climate and soil of the area contribute to their thin skin and soft consistency, allowing for them to be cooked without having soaked first).

Buon appetito