Celebrate the new year with this traditional Italian dish that brings good luck.
This recipe is courtesy of SD26.
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.
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.