This recipe for cotechino sausage with lentils is traditionally served in Italy on New Year's Eve.
It's an easy recipe to make, with no special skills, which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd.
Just cook the sausage and vegetables in advance and then reheat. It's the sort of dish that is forgiving too.
So comforting and delicious - you really need to try this one!
This is a classic Italian sausage made originally from pork rind, or cotica, which gives it its name. It is then often mixed with other pork cuts, which means that it needs to be cooked slowly.
I ordered my sausage online from Swaledale butchers. It's made from pork shoulder and cheek, spices and curing salts, which give it a delicious bacon taste.
Although this dish is eaten all year round, it's typically eaten on New Year's Eve to usher in a prosperous year as the lentils represent coins.
As the sausage is simmered rather than baked or fried, it doesn't have any colour when it's cooked. I've fried the sausage slices in a little oil to brown them, which gives them a slightly crispy surface too.
- Cotechino sausage - a 400g or approximately 1 pound sausage will serve 2 generous portions. Depending on the exact composition, the sausage may need longer cooking.
- Green Lentils - dried green lentils, which don't need to be soaked.
- Garlic - fresh clove of garlic
- Parsley - fresh chopped parsley to serve
- Oil - vegetable or sunflower oil
- Salt - flaked sea salt
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
- Large saucepan
- Jug or bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Sharp knife
- Frying pan or skillet
Put the sausage in a large pan of boiling water, making sure the sausage is covered.
Bring the water to the boil and then simmer the sausage for 90 minutes.
Drain the cooking liquid into a jug and discard the fat.
Leave the sausage to cool.
💭 Top tip
- Leave the stock in the jug for a few minutes and the fat will naturally rise to the surface. Use a metal spoon to remove the fat and put the fat into a small bowl in the fridge. When it's hard, discard the fat in the bin so that it doesn't clog the sink.
While the sausage is cooking, chop the onions and dice the carrot into 1 cm pieces.
Crush or finely chop the garlic.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan and cook the carrots and onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic , and cook stirring for 1 minute.
Pour in the stock, seasoning and lentils and bring the mixture to the boil.
Simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender.
While the lentils are cooking carefully remove the skin from the sausage and slice into about 1 cm or half inch pieces.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the sausage slices.
Fry for 2 minutes each side until coloured and crispy.
When the lentils are cooked drain them and arrange in a serving dish.
Serve with the sliced sausage slices on top, sprinkled with chopped parsley.
🥗 Serve with
- Lentils - If you prefer to use ready cooked tinned/canned lentils then substitute with a drained 400g / 16oz tin, which will be approximately 265g in weight as the lentils soak up the water when cooked and almost double their weight.
- Sausage - use fried Toulouse sausage, which is full of garlic and herbs, Italian sausage or fry slices of chorizo instead.
- Vegetarian - simply use vegetarian sausages instead.
Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days if you want to cook the sausage in advance and fry just before serving.
If you have cooked the sausage beforehand then cooled and then fried the slices then it is safer to discard any leftovers.
More sausage recipes
Cotechino Sausage with Lentils
- Large saucepan
- Jug or bowl
- wooden spoon
- sharp knife
- Frying pan or skillet
- 400 g cotechino sausage 1 sausage
- 120 g green lentils
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 l water
- 2 tablespoon parsley fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Put the sausage in a large pan of boiling water, bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 90 minutes.
- Drain the cooking liquid into a jug and discard the fat. Leave the sausage to cool.
- While the sausage is cooking, chop the onions and dice the carrot into 1 cm pieces and crush or finely chop the garlic.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan and cook the carrots and onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute.
- Pour in the stock, seasoning and lentils and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- Remove the skin from the sausage and slice into about 1 cm or half inch pieces.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the sausage slices.
- Fry for 2 minutes each side until coloured and crispy.
- Drain the lentils and place in a serving dish then arrange the sausages on top.
- Garnish with chopped parsley to serve.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended'
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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