Once you’ve had a good cotechino, sliced and crisped so the skin in the mix tastes like crackling, you’ll crave it forever after. Here the earthiness of the lentils cuts the richness of the meat.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large French shallot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 g dried mushrooms, finely chopped (see Note)
- 150 g small green lentils, such as Puy, washed
- water or stock, to cover
- 3–4 fat slices cooked cotechino
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the shallot until starting to colour and soften, then add the celery and cook for a few more minutes. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add lentils then cover with water or broth and simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Add more liquid as necessary.
Meanwhile, fry cotechino in a separate frying pan in a little oil, until golden on each side.
When the lentils are tender and the meat is ready to serve, stir the tomato into the lentils. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir through the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the cotechino on a bed of the lentils with bread, if you like.
• I don’t soak the mushrooms for this, as they’re finely chopped and should soften during cooking.
Also try Matthew Evan's bollito misto served mustard fruits and salsa verde using cotechino, or making his cotechino from scratch.