Cotechino with Beluga Lentils

Northern Italians traditionally eat this rich and delicious garlic sausage with lentils for New Year’s Eve dinner to bring prosperity and luck. The lentils represent the coins soon to befall all who consume the dish within an hour of midnight, so it’s with this in mind that I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year 2012.

My new year resolution for this site is of course to make it better on every level. There’s so much I would like to improve, the photography, the writing, the recipes… We’ve come a long way over the years but like the Rolling Stones I’m never satisfied. So I’ll keep working on it.

Zen Can Cook is now getting a nice chunk of traffic from just about every country in the world, the majority coming from the USA, Canada, England and Australia and tiny Singapore coming in fifth position. It feels like a full time job at times but it’s all well worth it because the great feedback I receive all the time in comments or by email. So thank you to every single one of you, and see you in 2012.

  • Cotechino with Beluga Lentils

    • Serves 4
    • For the Cotechino:
    • 1 fresh cotechino (uncooked)
    • For the Beluga lentils:
    • 1 cup Beluga lentils
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 sprig of thyme
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • celery leaves
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • For the Cotechino:
    • Rinse the cotechino and prick several times with the tip of a knife. Place in a large pot of water and bring to a slow simmer. Cover the pot and cook the cotechino for 1 hour.
    • For the Beluga lentils:
    • Soak the lentils in cold water for 2 hours. Strain.
    • In a medium saucepan heat some olive oil and add the carrots, celery and onions. Cook until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf and thyme and cook for a minute more. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the lentils and a pinch of salt and cook at a very low simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
    • Add the olive oil and the vinegar to the lentils and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
    • Slice the cotechino and serve on a bed of lentils. Garnish with celery leaves.
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  • shirley@kokken69

    Wow,little red dot Singapore made it to the radar screen? Awesome! Happy New Year to you Stephane! 

  • http://willtravelforfood.com/ mayssam @ Will Travel for Food

    Does this mean I have 6 hours left to find some cotechino and lentils so I can be rich and lucky in 2012?? ;) Bonne année Zen! xx

  • Stacey Snacks

    I am also making lentils for New Years Day tomorrow…..happiest of new years S.!  
    Hope to see you in 2012.Stacey & Henry

  • http://www.lacerise.blogspot.com/ Astrid

    Cotechino… the name makes me shudder. The only dish I didn’t like during my stays in Italy as an exchange student. But… if anyone can make it sound appetizing, then you can. Thank you for a delicious, masterful blog! I don’t see anything you need to improve, but by all means, keep doing what you’ve been doing!

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    Gorgeous photos! I just want to dig a big spoon into that pot. Well, I must say, the Northern Italians sure know how to celebrate right, as this dish looks incredible. Happy New Year!

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    Gorgeous photos! I just want to dig a big spoon into that pot. Well, I must say, the Northern Italians sure know how to celebrate right, as this dish looks incredible. Happy New Year!

  • http://pickyin.blogspot.com Chang Pick Yin

    I must be contributing to that traffic from the 5th place and since it’s quite significant, shouldn’t you be coming here anytime soon? :D  

    That said, your photography is just fine Stephane, I like your style and you should keep it close. Happy New Year!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I love this sausage! We don’t see it much on menus but I really enjoy it. Happy New Year :)

  • http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/ Marla

    Stunning photo & I love lentils! Happy New Year to you :)

  • Frank @Memorie di Angelina

    Yep, we’re having this today like every year. My luck stays the same but we keep on trying… lol!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I always had big traffic coming from Singapore for some reason. Are you doing some PR for me down there? :) HNY!! 

  • Anonymous

    Just looking at the pictures will bring you luck! Bonne Annee!!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it’s been too long. Happy New Year to you and Henry!

  • Anonymous

    They really do. Happy New Year, Carolyn. 

  • Anonymous

    But why..? It’s so delicious. :) Maybe it’s time for another try. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for all the Singapore traffic. :) I was there about 2 years ago and I can’t wait to go back. The food is sooo good. Happy New Year!

  • Anonymous

    Happy New Year, Lorraine!

  • Anonymous

    haha.. oh well. Let’s keep trying then! 

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. Happy New Year to you too!

  • Tampopo3000

    Proximité oblige, dans le Sud de la France nous partageons cette même tradition d’un plat de lentilles pour la nouvelle année. On est pas loin d’un petit salé aux lentilles avec cette recette, non ? Faut que je me démène pour trouver cette saucisse italienne…

    Très bonne année à tous !!!

  • Anonymous

    Ah oui, ca ce fait aussi dans le sud de la France pour la nouvelle année? Comme quoi tu vois je viens pas assez souvent.  C’est proche du petit salé aux lentilles, oui. Bonne année à vous aussi!

  • Mary

    Been reading your site from both India and US for a couple years now. Really enjoy everything you do. Many thanks. Lots of luck and prosperity — and a big Happy New Year.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so happy to hear that, Mary. Thank you so much! A Happy New Year to you too! 

  • http://www.kitchenriffs.com/ kitchenriffs

    Nice recipe.  I love lentils and make them all the time.  Never made them with Cotechino, though.  Thanks for the idea.  Regarding your New Year’s resolution – your blog is already great!  I’m delighted you’re trying to up your game, but congratulations on what you’ve already achieved – recipes and photos are both wonderful.

  • http://www.ouichefnetwork.com Oui, Chef

    I’m happy to be along for the ride, and thrilled to see you back posting so often.  Wishing you a marvelous 2012, you are the BEST!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! I appreciate the compliment. 

  • Anonymous

    I had a little vacation so I took advantage to cook and post a lot! Happy New Year to you too, Steve.