BUON ANNO! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2021 is finally here! We have all waited so long to finally see this past year, 2020, go – CIAO CIAO 2020!
And as is Italian tradition, to ring in the New Year properly you must have a bountiful helping of LENTICCHIE, or lentils in English and COTECHINO, pork sausage in English.
In Italy, lentils have an important role in wishing you the best for the new year to come.
The old wise tale goes in Italy that lentils will bring you great fortune if you eat them at midnight. The reason being is that in Italy lentils are viewed as ‘little coins’, based on their mere shape.
While, the COTECHINO, or in English gelatinous pork sausage, in Italy, is paired with the lentils not only because it’s fatty qualities balance well with the legumes, it has an ancient representation on the Italian table. This also well brings fortune because it is a symbol of good healthy, against hunger, to be full and satisfied.
You can find our full explanation and finished dish here:
Here is our COTECHINO & LENTICCHIE (PORK SAUSAGE & LENTILS) that we had to ring in the New Year here in Italy:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Can of Lentils / 1 Bag Dried Lentils
Salt / Pepper
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Pork Sausage (Cotechino)
Start off by finely chopping 1/2 onion. Heat large skillet, add butter, then chopped onion. Cook onion down until transparent, add salt, crushed tomatoes, sage and bay leaves, sugar and pepper.
Cook everything down on a low heat, stirring consistently. If you use canned lentils, you can add in directly, removing some of the lentil liquid from casing, to the tomatoes. If you choose to use dried lentils following the preparation here. Continue stirring every once in awhile, cover and let cook down for 1 hour, always on a low heat.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the pork sausage. Just like the lentils, you can either get the pork sausage precooked or fresh from local butcher. If fresh pork sausage is used, asked the butcher in which it comes from their suggestions on how best to cook. A generic rule of thumb to cook fresh pork sausage in its casing is this – before cooking, place in a large pot full of cold water for 12 hours. After, bring the pot of water to boil, once boiling, cook for 2 hours. If pork sausage is precooked, place in a large pot of cold water, bring to boil, cook for 20 minutes in its casing. Remove from heat and casing. Cut into even slices the pork sausage, cotechino, and serve over the lentils.
We wish you all a healthy, happy and new year full of fortune! Sending our love from Italy!
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