Capo D’Anno (New Year’s Day): A Special Italian New Year’s Day Recipe
I have recently become friends with a mother of one of my son’s friend Elizabeth. Her mother, also Elizabeth, and Pia, Francisco, and Pasquale (her other children or should I stay adult children) come from Rome. I love listening to her stories about her parents, and growing up in Rome. She moved here when her daughter Elizabeth was 14. Not only do I love her stories, but love when she invites me for lunch, which is always something delicious.
A few weeks ago she asking me if I knew where she could get some sausage called, Cotechino, which I admit I had never heard of before. She explained it is only made for New Year’s. It is a large pork sausage which can be cooked in a sauce or mainly in Lentil soup. So I figured it I would find it anywhere it would be Arthur Ave, a small, very Italian neighborhood in the Bronx, where most people still speak their Italian dialect. When I took Elizabeth there for the first time, she was elated to be able to speak Italian to all the shopkeepers. They have the best markets, where everything is made fresh; from their Italian pastries to the Olive Loaf Bread. Even better are there restaurants, and small cafes which serve the best Cappuccino!
Anyway, I did find the “Cotechino” sausage, and last night made Italian New Year’s Lentil Soup with this very large sausage.
Here is a great recipe to try and very easy to make!
Boil one bag of Lentils in 8 cups of water, (half of which use Chicken Stock). Continue boiling for 45 min.
While that is boiling; sauté in olive oil, celery, carrots, 1 large onion and 2 cloves of garlic.
Drain then add this to the boiling lentils, and chop up 2 tomatoes, and 1 bay leaf then add to the soup.
While this is cooking, heat the Cotechino sausage then cut into slices and sauté in a pan until golden brown.
When cooked through, add to the soup and let simmer for another hour.
When serving, add a bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese on the top.
And of course, you must have nice fresh homemade Italian bread, and a glass of Chianti to finish off the meal! Eating this on New Year’s, is a sign of good luck for the rest of the year. Buon Cibo (good eating!)