When midnight strikes on New Year's Eve in Italy, a century-old tradition is revealed that celebrates prosperity, luck and abundance. Cotechino e Lenticchie, a delicious pairing of pork sausage and lentils, takes center stage in Italian homes. Join us as we explore the meaning of this culinary tradition and discover a delicious recipe for making Cotechino and Lentils at home.
The Symbolism of Cotechino and Lentils
In Italy, the choice of food for New Year's Eve is steeped in symbolism. Cotechino, a slow-cooked pork sausage, represents the richness and abundance of the year ahead. Its circular shape also symbolizes continuity and the cyclical nature of life. Paired with lentils, which resemble small coins, the dish is believed to bring good luck and wealth in the new year.
Cotechino and Lentils Recipe
- 1 Cotechino (about 1 pound)
- 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and cleaned
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and Pepper To Taste.
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Preparation of Cotechino
- Rinse the Cotechino under cold water.
- Place the sausage in a pot and cover it with cold water.
- Bring the water to a light boil and cook the Cotechino for about 2 hours or according to the package instructions.
- Once cooked, let it rest for a few minutes, then carefully cut it into thick slices.
Preparation of Lentils
- In a separate pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Pour in the rinsed lentils and stir to incorporate them into the aromatic mixture.
- Add the bay leaves and pour in the broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender but not mushy (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring it all together
- Serve the sliced Cotechino on a bed of cooked lentils.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
- Enjoy this symbolic and flavorful dish with family and friends.
As you savor the delicious combination of Cotechino and Lentils on New Year's Eve, you not only participate in a culinary delight, but you also embrace a century-old tradition of luck, prosperity and good fortune. May this precious Italian dish open the doors to a year full of abundance, joy and the warmth of shared traditions. Happy New Year!