Cotechine con Lenticchie

This ended up being not one of my better recipes. It was…okaaayy…but it was still missing something for me. Part of me wanted to add red pepper flakes or anchovy sauce to the lentils, but I withheld, wanting to hold to the recipe as it stood. I may try differently in the future.

Two notes:
1) This dish is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve in Italy. It makes it the second New Years recipe I have on this site. Note that I have zero recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I must consider this anamoly.

2) The Olive oil bit in this recipe is essential(and I don’t use that word lightly). Without it, the lentils dry up and give you a less than stellar dish.

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage, links (cotechino if you can find it, but hot Italian sausage will do in a pinch)
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 lb. dried, green lentils
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large carrot, quartered
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch of chopped Italian Parsley

Take the italian sausage, and pierce it with a fork in several places. Place in the bottom of a stock pot, and fry for 2-3 minutes (do this to give the sausage some brown fronds that make the sausages sing). Add chopped onions, bay leaf, thymeand peppercorns. Fry for one more minute and then cover with seven cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 45-50 minutes.

In a seperate pot (3 quart soup pot), add the lentils, quartered onions, garlic, bay leaf, carrot and salt & pepper. Cover with water and also bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add more water if needed.

When lentils are complete remove onion, garlic, bay leaf and carrot. Spoon lentils onto a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil (This is the important part I told you about up top). Slice up pieces of Italian sausage onto bed of lentils.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 4-6

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