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How to cook cotechino with lentils, the symbolic dish of the Holidays!

Pork sausage with lentils

Cotechino with lentils is an inevitable dish on Italian tables during the Christmas holidays, especially for the New Year's Eve dinner. Here's the recipe!

Here is a dish of the Italian tradition that it is impossible not to propose during the holidays: cotechino with lentils! This indissoluble union has now become famous throughout our peninsula, and it is one of the most prepared recipes especially for New Year 's Eve dinner , since as tradition dictates, eating it brings you good luck!

Cotechino is a typical sausage of Modena, which was prepared by farmers and enjoyed together with vegetables, soups and legumes. The recipe spread until it was included in the famous book by Artusi , which is why it is still famous throughout Italy today. The perfect combination according to tradition are lentils, which are cooked and flavored in a pan.

In short, are you ready to prepare this dish? So let's get started !

Pork sausage with lentils
Pork sausage with lentils

How to cook cotechino and lentils

Now let's see the main ways to cook cotechino. In general, in any case, we advise you to insert a carrot and a stalk of celery (and also an onion, if you like) to flavor the water, and moreover, start cooking with cold water, so that the heat increases gradually and the cotechino is not spoiled. When the water starts to boil, you can close the pot with a lid .

Cooked cotechino
Cooked cotechino

Cooking fresh cotechino

  1. A fresh cotechino can take up to two hours to cook. In this case, wrap it in foil ( prick it with a toothpick or the tines of a fork so it doesn't explode while cooking) and leave it in a pot to boil with the carrot and celery or even without anything.
  2. Do the toothpick test to evaluate the softness of the sausage and when it is ready, drain it and let it cool.

Pre-cooked cotechino

It's definitely the easiest solution. A cotechino of this kind can be bought in a supermarket and its cooking can even take just 20 minutes. Follow the instructions on the package and cook the cotechino without removing it from the special membrane .

Cotechino in a pressure cooker

A good idea, if you don't have much time, is to use a pressure cooker , even if the cooking is more violent and this could damage the cotechino. Either way, it will take you half the time this way.

Cook lentils
Cook lentils

How to make lentils

  1. First of all, if the lentils are fresh, soak them for at least two hours in cold water before cooking them.
  2. Prepare a chopped onion, celery and carrot and leave the vegetables in the pan to dry with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Add the finely chopped pancetta (which you can also omit), the lentils, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
  4. Also add a teaspoon of tomato paste and then cook with the vegetable broth for about 45 minutes.

Serve the lentils on a tray and place the cotechino on top. Bon appetit and… Happy New Year!

Also try the scallops au gratin and all our main Christmas dishes !


We recommend consuming both dishes within 2-3 days of cooking at the latest. You can store cotechino and lentils in the fridge, in two separate containers with airtight lids. We do not recommend freezing in the freezer.

READ ALSO: Stewed lentils: here's how to cook them for a perfect result!

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