Cotecchino con Lenticchie (Big Sausage with Lentils)

It wouldn't be New Year's in Italy without lentils and sausage. Their round shapes suggest coins, symbolizing the riches and good luck that[ will follow in the new year. Cotecchino, a large fresh pork sausage, is most typical of the Emilia-Romagna region, but it is embraced throughout Italy at this festive time.]

Serves 8
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces brown lentils
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cotecchino sausages, about 2 pounds each

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the salt. Add the lentils, carrots, garlic, and sage and boil until the lentils are tender yet firm, about 25 minutes. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. Add the oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Set aside.

Prick the sausages with a pin several times. Place in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a very low boil and cover the pot. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Place the marinated lentils on a large serving platter to form a bed for the cotecchino. Drain the sausages and cut into 1/4-inch rounds. Arrange the sausage on the lentils and serve hot or at room temperature.

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