Italian Food #6: Cotechino with Lentils

In Italy we have a lot of tradition. You should probably know that. And you should probably know the fact that we love to associate food with those tradiotion: for Christmas we eat the Pandoro and for New Year we have the Cotechino. If you have no idea what Cotechino is, you are in the right place! Are you ready to get hungry pretty fast?

Cotechino is a fat food. I can try to make the pills a little bit sweeter, but i can’t. If you have healthy problem, or you should avoid fat food, just close this post, because you willl gain weight olny reading this. I am an italian guy and we know one thing or two about fat and delicious food. What we do better than the others is to put all together to create something delicious to start in the best possible way the new year.

But what is Cotechino? Thanks to the “la cucina italiana” i can tell you what it is in very simple words:

Cotechino is originally an Emilian sausage made of pork, lard, pork rind and spices, which requires cooking. Because of the pork rind, it is considered a “poor” food, but it has nevertheless won a place of honor at the table on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

La cucina Italiana

In even fewer words we can easily say that it’s fat masked as a eatable food. Nothing more, nothing less. In the definition it has been said that it’s a “poor food”, because there are poor ingredients, however when you buy it in supermarket it becomes a “rich people’s food”, because it becomes pretty expencive. You can find it in all supermarket, especially before Christmas and between December 27th and December 31st. Actually i have never see cothechino in other times of the year, maybe it’s sold even in June, but i can’t imagine someone so stupid to eat something so fat in the middle of summer…

Cotechino is made from pork. If you are a vegan, it’s not the kind of post you want to read. In Italy we love meat, especially pork. Once a pork is killed, we don’t throw anything away. We use everything we possible can. And cotechino is actually the results of that: in our history we were never been rich and we could not afford waste anithing, and we needed to find a way to put some food on the table. Sometimes necessity sharpens ingenuity. And today something so “poor”, becomes something so traditional and loved.

How to cook it? Cotechino is the easiest food to cook. When you buy it, it will be inside a package. Once you got home and you open the package, cotechino will be inside a metallic wrapper. Don’t touch and cut anything. Once you have in your hand the cotechino inside this metallic wrapper, put it somewhere. Take a big pot full of water, boil it and then throw the cotechino in the pot, STILL INSIDE THE METALLIC WRAPPER, and follow the instruction on the package. Once the time is over, take it out from the water, cut one of the angle of the wrapper, let all the juice (basically fat) flows out and then, only then, you can take out your cotechino. What you will have is a red, pretty small and very smelly and tasty sausage. Cut in slice and serve it. End of the story.

99% of the italian families will never serve cotechino alone. They will serve it together with lentils. There are different ways to cook them: my mom, for example, she stew them a little bit with tomato sauce. Every family has its own way to serve them. However, one thing is fix for everyone: Cotechino must be on the table on New Year’ Eve.

Italy is fantastic, because even if we are talking right now of fat, masked as food, we can still make it delicious!

Italy is absolutely amazing!

See ya

Mauro.

The Ironically All-Rounder
I'm pretty sure to know everything. If thre's nothing i don't know. be free to tell me!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: