Castelluccio Lentils and Cotechino

Castelluccio Lentils and Cotechino
Staff Writer

Celebrate the new year with this traditional Italian dish that brings good luck.

This recipe is courtesy of SD26.

Deliver Ingredients


For the lentils

  • 1 Tablespoon Castelluccio lentils
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Ounces pancetta, cut into strips
  • Sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the cotechino

  • 8 Pounds pork rind
  • 10 Pounds pork shoulder, whole
  • 8 Pounds pork jowl or neck
  • 1 1/2 Pound salt
  • 4 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 Ounces saltpeter
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Natural casing


For the lentils

Soak the lentils in water overnight. Sauté the onion with the pancetta and a few sage leaves in a casserole. Cook until tender but not brown. Strain the lentils and add them, covering with lukewarm water.  Add the salt and pepper to taste and cook for 1 hour over medium heat, or until the lentils have absorbed all the water. Serve with cotechino bought from your favorite Italian purveyor.

For the cotechino

Clean the pork rind, pass it over a flame, and scrub it. Grind it together with the rest of the meat and blend the resulting mixture with the other ingredients. Using a funnel, pack the meat into the casings. Take care not to leave air bubbles while stuffing. Avoid pressing too much, however, to prevent the casing from breaking. 

Tie the upper end of the casing with several knots, cut the string, and tie a single knot about every 10 inches, leaving 1 loop to hang each cotechino. Cut the casing and repeat the operation, creating several cotechini. Hang them by their loops and let them dry at least one day. When dried, cotechino may be stored for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. It is then boiled before eating. 

Put the cotechino in cold water and let stand for a few hours. Then prick it with a fork all over (so that it does not explode while cooking), change the water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. When it begins to boil, lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook 1 hour for each 10 ounces. Let it stand in its cooking water for about 15 minutes before serving.

Lentil Shopping Tip

Legumes are high in a number of nutrients, especially protein and fiber – filling you up with relatively few calories.

Lentil Cooking Tip

Beans are done when they can be easily mashed with a fork – make sure to test a few in case they have not cooked evenly.